Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Publishing copies printed yourself

PLEASE NOTE: From publication year 2024, this option is generally no longer offered

Please note: Since 1 January 2024, the publication of copies you have had printed yourself is generally no longer possible or distribution is no longer carried out by the USL. Please publish your dissertation online on our bonndoc server or use a commercial publisher. Our dissertations department team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If in doubt, please contact the doctoral office of your faculty.

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.

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:

  • Permanent binding · high-quality bookbinding glue (e.g. PUR adhesive), thread stitching or impressBIND binding folder.
    Not all copy shops can meet these requirements. We would be happy to advise you.
  • Paperback or hardback cover
  • Age-resistant and wood- and acid-free paper
  • Printing on both sides · Single-sided printing is only permitted if it is technically necessary for binding (usually for theses with less than 30 pages).
  • Format depending on the layout of the thesis · Please discuss the format (DIN A4 or A5) with us before you have the thesis printed. Any necessary adjustment of the format (e.g. downscaling to A5 format) takes place during printing, i.e. you do not have to reformat your file.
  • Coloured content in colour · Printing of originally coloured elements (e.g. in figures) in black and white is only permitted if this does not impair comprehensibility.
  • Not permitted: spiral binding and stapling as well as plastic film as cover (i.e. a transparent cover).


Submission of the obligatory copies

You have the following options to let us have your copies. After checking the copies, we will send the confirmation of receipt directly to the doctoral office (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 at the loan desk in the MNL Branch Library: during service hours for borrowing and returning items. You don't need an appointment.
    N.B.: The colleagues at the loan desk do not send a confirmation of receipt. This is only done after checking by the dissertations department (three times a week).
  3. Handover at the dissertations department in the MNL Branch Library: If you would like to hand in your copies directly to our office, please make an appointment in advance at dissonline@ulb.uni-bonn.de. Appointments are usually possible on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.


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).
  • 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”).


Dissertations department

We receive all the doctoral theses written at the University of Bonn, publish theses online and help doctoral students through the publication process.
Availability by e-mail and phone: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.


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

On-site appointments only by prior arrangement!

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