Abstract The measured isothermal charging and discharging currents are analyzed either in terms of polarization mechanisms or in terms of charge injection/extraction at the metal–dielectric interface and the conduction current through the dielectric material. We propose to measure the open-circuit isothermal charging and discharging currents just to overpass the difficulties related to the analysis of the conduction mechanisms through the dielectric materials. Besides a polarization current, there is a current related with charge injection or extraction at the metal–dielectric contact and a reverse current related to the charge trapped into the superficial trap states of the dielectric and that can jump at the interface in a reverse way. By fitting the experimental data, two important parameters can be determined (i) the highest value of the relaxation time for the polarization mechanisms still involved into the transient current and (ii) the height W 0 of the potential barrier at the metal–dielectric interface immediately after the step voltage is applied. Only the initial part of the measured isothermal charging or discharging current can be used to obtain information about the polarization processes. By transforming the time-domain data into the frequency domain, a maximum for the imaginary part of the dielectric permittivity is obtained, in good agreement with the data obtained from AC dielectric measurements and the finally thermally stimulated discharge current measurements.