Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Publishing copies printed yourself

If you do not want to publish your thesis online on bonndoc or as a book with a publisher, you have the option of only producing printed copies yourself instead (from a printer's or copy shop). We distribute the copies that you give us to the German National Library and to university libraries in Germany and abroad. This counts as a publication and ensures the dissemination of your research findings.

N.B.: this option is no longer offered for doctorates in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences that are subject to the new doctoral degree regulations dated February 17, 2022. In this case, you must publish your thesis either online on our bonndoc server or as a book with a publisher.

Icon: Publishing copies printed yourself
© Thomas Häpp / ULB Bonn

What to do


Get your PDF file(s) ready for printing

  • Please check whether your title page and the following page are complete and match the latest template used by your faculty. Before publishing, you may need to enter the date of your oral examination, update the year of publication (i.e. the year you submitted it to us) and/or add the names of more reviewers.
  • For data protection reasons, we recommend removing your curriculum vitae if one is included (however, you are welcome to leave in a list of your academic publications that follows your curriculum vitae).
  • Please feel free to send your PDF file as a download link (e.g. via sciebo) or email attachment (max. 10 MB) to dissonline@ulb.uni-bonn.de so that other formal aspects can be checked out. We will give you feedback on your file, allowing you to avoid potential problems with publication before they occur.


Printing of the obligatory copies

The number of obligatory copies you will need to have printed will depend on your faculty. Besides the copies for the USL, you may also need to submit additional copies to your institute library, your doctoral office or your reviewers. Proceed as described in the information sheets from your faculty or ask us or your doctoral office.

Requirements for printed copies:

The copies destined for us will be able to be borrowed by library users and will be held permanently at the USL an the German National Library. Specific requirements therefore apply:

  • The binding must be permanent. A high-quality bookbinding glue (e.g. PUR adhesive) or thread stitching is suitable for this purpose. impressBIND binding folders are also acceptable, spiral binding and stapling are not.
    Not all copy shops can meet these requirements. We would be happy to advise you.
  • The paper must be age-resistant and wood- and acid-free.
  • You can choose either a paperback or hardback cover. Plastic film (i.e. a transparent cover) is not permitted.
  • What format is suitable for the obligatory copies (DIN A4 or A5) will depend on the layout of your thesis, so please discuss this with us before you have it printed. Any necessary adjustments to the format (e.g. downscaling to A5 format) are made during printing. You do not have to reformat your file.
  • Normally you need to print coloured content (e.g. in figures or diagrams) in colour. Printing of originally coloured elements in black and white is only permitted if this does not impair comprehensibility.


Submission of the obligatory copies

There are two ways to let us have your copies. We usually collect copies that have been deposited three times a week and send confirmation of receipt to the doctoral office directly (If we have your e-mail address, we will send you a copy).

  1. By post to the following address (at the sender’s own risk):

    Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn
    Abteilungsbibliothek MNL
    - Hochschulschriftenstelle -
    Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
    53115 Bonn

    Please consider the customs requirements when mailing anything from a non-EU country. Shipments seized by German customs will be returned to sender.
  2. Handover in person at the loan desk in the MNL Branch Library during service hours for borrowing and returning items. You don't need an appointment.


Final steps

You have now fulfilled your publication obligations vis-à-vis the USL and can obtain your certificate from your doctoral office provided that you have done everything else required by the doctoral office.

One obligatory copy will remain at the USL and be made available for borrowing. Two copies will be sent to the German National Library, with one being kept permanently in Frankfurt am Main and the other in Leipzig. Additional copies of your doctoral thesis will be sent to a certain number of university partners in Germany and abroad. Any remaining copies will be retained at the USL for four years in case they are requested by other universities or research institutions further down the line.

Your doctoral thesis will be cataloged so that it can be found in library catalogs such as bonnus and those of other institutions such as the German National Library.


Publishing copies printed yourself

Each faculty has its own rules regarding formal design. These web pages have templates for you to download:

Please read the following explanatory notes:

  • The location to be included on the title page must be your official place of birth (and not, for instance, the town where you live or another place with links to you). If this is not in Germany, please add the country (e.g. "aus Paris, Frankreich" or “from Paris, France”).
  • For the Faculty of Agriculture, Medicine, Arts and Law/Economics: the year on the title page must be the year of publication (i.e. the year of delivery of the printed copies to us).
  • For the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences:  the year on the title page must be the year the thesis was originally submitted to the doctoral office for review; the year of publication (i.e. the year of delivery of the printed copies to us) must be entered on the page with the reviewers’ information.

The title page of your doctoral thesis as described above must be the first page inside the printed copies. This is followed by another page with details of your reviewers, the day you completed your doctorate and any other relevant information. The specific requirements for the title page and the following page vary from faculty to faculty (see previous question).

The actual cover of the book (paperback or hardback) is a different matter, as here you are not bound by your faculty’s restrictions. For example, you could duplicate your title page or, alternatively, put a picture on the cover. The cover can be any color you like but has to contain at least the title of your work and your name. 
Exception: for doctoral theses in the Faculty of Medicine (Dr. med./Dr. med. dent.), you will need to print your title page in the specified layout on the cover too, meaning that you are not free to choose your own design here.

The weight (“grammage”) of the paper used for your doctoral thesis should be between 80 g/m2 and 110 g/m2. If you choose a paperback cover, we recommend a grammage of at least 300 g/m2 for the cover.

Although neither the central administration nor University Communications have any objections in this regard, the design and look of your thesis should always be agreed with your faculty.
You can find information on how to use the logo correctly on the University of Bonn’s corporate design web page.

Yes, of course! University of Bonn doctoral theses can be published subsequently online on our bonndoc publication server for free.

Essentially, you can follow our step-by-step guide to online publication.

However, you should bear in mind the following:

  • The electronic version of your doctoral thesis must have the same content and form as the version that your faculty approved for publication. Please leave your file in the condition it was in originally when you published your thesis for the first time and do not change the year of publication.
  • We do not need permission from your faculty or your doctoral supervisor.
  • You do not need to submit any more printed copies (please skip step 4 and 5 of the guide).
  • When you are registering via our online registration form, please select "ja" (yes) when you get to “Nachpublikation” (“Subsequent publication”).

You can contact us about this in the January after the end of the four-year waiting period (e.g. in January 2027 if you submitted in 2022). You will then be able to collect any leftover copies.

If you would like to know how many copies are still left, simply take a look on the exchange platform that we use.


Dissertations department

We receive all the doctoral theses written at the University of Bonn, publish theses online on our bonndoc server and help doctoral students through the publication process. Availability: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.


MNL Branch Library
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
53115 Bonn
2nd floor, room 2.013

Personal appointments only by prior arrangement

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Elena Dyck

+49 228 73-9533

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