Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Using a publisher

You can use a commercial publisher to publish your doctoral thesis as a book via the book trade. Most faculties will usually require a minimum print run of 150 for this purpose. 

We at the USL Bonn will not be directly involved if you are using a publisher. You will need to clarify the necessary steps directly with your doctoral office or the responsible doctoral body as well as with your chosen publisher. However, we are happy to help if you have any questions.

Once the publisher has published your work, you will need to deposit a certain number of obligatory copies with us and/or your doctoral office.

You may be able to publish your doctoral thesis online on our bonndoc server as well as through a publisher if the latter agrees.

Using a publisher
© Thomas Häpp / ULB Bonn

Useful tips


Tips on choosing a publisher

When selecting a suitable publisher, you could consider the following:

  • How much will it cost?
  • Will I get good service and advice?
  • Does the publisher have a high profile and good marketing?
  • Is the publisher a recognized name in its subject?
  • What is the quality of the publisher’s publications like?
  • Does the publisher offer to publish the thesis as an Open Access book? Will the terms of your contract with the publisher allow you to publish your doctoral thesis in an open-access format (e.g. on the bonndoc publication server), either at the same time or after a certain waiting period?


Formal requirements

  • All copies put into circulation must be marked as a doctoral thesis from the University of Bonn. Please make your publisher aware of this requirement. Among other things, it is important in order to ensure that your book is added to the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie (German National Bibliography) and other library catalogs correctly. The best way to provide this information is to add the following note to the masthead:
    “Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, [year in which the oral examination/defense took place]”. Your faculty may also have more extensive requirements that you will need to meet. Here is an example of what the imprint could look like:

    Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 2022

    ISBN 978-1234567890

    Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über http://dnb.d-nb.de abrufbar.

    Verlag XY, Berlin
    1. Auflage 2022
    Das Werk einschließlich aller seiner Teile ist urheberrechtlich geschützt. Jede Verwertung, die nicht ausdrücklich vom Urheberrechtsgesetz zugelassen ist, bedarf der vorherigen Zustimmung des Verlags. Das gilt insbesondere für Vervielfältigungen, Bearbeitungen, […]

  • The copies that you deposit with us and/or elsewhere at the University of Bonn as obligatory copies also need to include the official title page from your faculty and its back cover with details of your reviewers and the date you obtained your doctorate. In some cases, the publishers may arrange for the title page to be printed as part of the obligatory copies, else it will need to be stuck in afterwards as an additional page. Please discuss this with your doctoral office and/or your publisher. Please be aware that the title page from your faculty will need to be inserted in addition to the title page and masthead from the publisher. Under no circumstances may the pages containing details of the publisher be covered over or removed.


Submission of the obligatory copies

To find out exactly how many copies you have to submit, consult the information sheets from your faculty or ask us or your doctoral office. Whether you have to submit the obligatory copies to the doctoral office or directly to us differs depending on the faculty. If you are asked to submit copies directly to the USL, you have the following options. 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.

Financial support for Open Access books

You want your doctoral thesis to be published as an Open Access book by a publishing house of high reputation in the respective field and

  • the thesis was written as part of a research project in the humanities, social sciences or law,
  • has been awarded a prize
  • and is of special interest to the (scientific/academic) community?

If so, you can apply for funding from the University of Bonn's publication fund under certain conditions.


Using a publisher

Each faculty has its own rules regarding the faculty title page for the obligatory copies. 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 with the publisher.
  • 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 with the publisher must be entered on the page with the reviewers’ information.

The USL Bonn does not have any objections in this regard, as you only grant us a simple right of use for publication via bonndoc. All other rights remain with you, so you can use your thesis at any time and publish it elsewhere.
However, the various publishers have differing views on the matter. Although some view publication online as additional advertising, others are categorically against digital publication of the full text because they tend to view it as competition.

If you sign a contract with a publisher, you must make sure that it will not adversely affect your original electronic publication on bonndoc and, if necessary, remove any clauses that give the publisher sole distribution rights. The electronic version on bonndoc cannot be removed or amended retrospectively.

Yes, of course! University of Bonn doctoral theses can be published subsequently online on our bonndoc publication server for free. If you have already used a publisher, however, you must first clarify with them whether your work is permitted to be published online.

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.
  • 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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