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Publishing doctoral theses

The dissertations department collects all of the doctoral theses published at the University of Bonn. Submission takes place in a printed form and, since 1999, also electronically. Bonn University and State Library thus offers the opportunity to publish your work on the Internet as an electronic full-text document via the university publication server alongside the previously standard publication types.

Doctoral capThe dissertations department is the point of contact for all doctoral candidates who are undertaking their PhD at the University of Bonn and must submit copies of their doctoral thesis to Bonn University and State Library as part of the publication requirement.

The submission of the doctoral thesis is governed by the doctoral regulations for the respective faculties (in German). The respectively applicable formal provisions are stated here. The number of printed copies (deposit copies) to be submitted and the possibility of submission as an electronic version are specified. Be sure to request the current, valid version from your deanery. The doctoral regulations for the Bonn faculties can mainly be found on the Internet on the faculty websites or under the university’s Official Announcements (in German).

The deposit copies must be submitted to the dissertations department at Bonn University and State Library. Please also note the special requirements for the printed deposit copies. You are welcome to have the necessary requirements checked before printing your doctoral thesis. To do this, send the PDF files for your doctoral thesis to [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]
Arrange an appointment with the dissertations department in advance to submit your deposit copies.

In accordance with the doctoral regulations, you will receive confirmation of receipt, which can be sent directly by the dissertations department to the doctoral/dean’s office in the corresponding faculty.

Please also note the legal information on publishing electronic theses (in German) at the University of Bonn.

Submission of the deposit copies of your doctoral thesis

Printed deposit copies

You can submit your printed deposit copies personally to the MNL Branch Library. To do this, arrange an appointment with the contact person Elena Dyck in advance by e-mail at [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]
The address for the dissertations department is:

Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn
Abteilungsbibliothek für Medizin, Naturwissenschaften und Landbau
- Hochschulschriftenstelle -
Nußallee 15a
53115 Bonn

The printed copies can also be sent by post to this address at your own risk.

In accordance with the doctoral regulations, you will receive confirmation of receipt, which can be sent directly by the dissertations department to the doctoral/dean’s office in the corresponding faculty.

Before submitting the work, it should be ensured that the front of the title page (do not confuse with the cover!) shows

  • the year of publication (applies to the Faculties of Agriculture, Medicine, and Arts, and to economic sciences and law) or
  • the date/year of submission (applies to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Before submitting the work, it should be ensured that the back of the title page (where applicable, on the second page) shows

  • the name of the first and second reviewer,
  • the day of the oral examination an
  • the year of publication for doctoral theses in mathematics/natural sciences.


Electronic deposit copies

The electronic doctoral thesis can be transferred:


Requirements for the deposit copies of your doctoral thesis

For the purposes of archiving, two printed copies are to be submitted to Bonn University and State Library in addition to the electronic form. Please note that

  • the printed and electronic versions must be identical in terms of form and content (except for personal data (in German))
  • any CV present is generally deleted, unless Bonn University and State Library has been given an informal application to retain it
  • for PC applications, the printer used can influence the layout of the document. It is thus sensible to use the PDF version of the doctoral thesis as the printing template for the deposit copies.
  • There may be additional regulations in your faculty.


Printed deposit copies

  • The printed deposit copies must be printed on age-resistant, wood- and acid-free paper and bound in a permanent manner.
  • Spiral and paper clip bindings and film as a book cover are not permitted.
  • Print your work on both sides, where possible in A5 format and with a high-quality adhesive binding (e.g. PUR adhesive binding) or thread stitching.
  • Hardcover books with high-quality thread stitching or ImpressBind binding covers are also accepted.
  • In order to be certain, discuss the format of the printed copies in advance with the dissertations department.

Please note: Not all copy shops provide the quality of adhesive binding required for submission. Please obtain information from the dissertations department.


Electronic deposit copies

The portable document format (PDF) is the presentation format for electronic publications on the university publication server of Bonn University and State Library. You should thus transfer your document in PDF format. Please note that password-protected files are not accepted.

Abstract information

At least one abstract (more information in German) in the language of the work must be submitted for the online publication. Additional texts in other languages are welcome. In this case, a title translation would also be appropriate.
The abstracts are placed online on the pages of the university publication server as introductory texts to the respective electronic publications.

What’s more, the abstracts are forwarded to the German National Library (DNB) as metadata (more information in German). The DNB requires that the abstracts “... only consist of one file and do not contain any additional links and external files (images, etc.)”. Please prepare the abstract text as a simple TXT file (ideally with a simple text editor, such as Notepad), which you can copy into the online form (in German) when you register.

If you use special formatting in this text (e.g. italics, superscript or subscript) or special characters (such as e.g. Greek letters), please use the corresponding HTML code (more information in German) for this.

Please note that the abstract cannot be longer than one printed or typewritten page.

Step by step: Information on publishing electronic doctoral theses

  1. Clarify in good time with your doctoral supervisor whether it is possible to publish your doctoral thesis electronically. A written declaration of consent from the doctoral supervisor is required for the Faculties of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Agriculture.
  2. Please note the legal aspects (in German) and contractual conditions (in German).
  3. Convert your work into PDF format and send the PDF file(s) for checking to the dissertations department at Bonn University and State Library.
  4. Formulate the text for the abstract(s) (in German).
  5. Consider the keywords on the theme of your work.
    » To do this, read our “tips for allocating keywords” (in German).
  6. Register your doctoral thesis via the online form (in German).
  7. Print the declaration (in German) that is generated automatically for you as a PDF file after completing the online form, sign it, and send it to the dissertations department.
  8. The dissertations department at Bonn University and State Library checks the technical possibility of publishing your work electronically and contacts you in the event of problems. If all of the prerequisites for online publication are met, the dissertations department sends the confirmation of technical feasibility of publishing your work electronically,  to the doctoral/dean’s office in your faculty.
  9. Produce the necessary number of printed deposit copies according to the requirements of your doctoral regulations and send/bring
    • 2 of these directly to Bonn University and State Library and
    • give any remaining copies either to your institute library (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) or to the deanery (Faculty of Law and Economics, Agriculture, and Arts) or to the reviewers (Faculty of Medicine).
    Please find more information in your doctoral documents or inquire at the doctoral/dean’s office.
  10. We create a confirmation of receipt for the printed copies that we receive and send this to the doctoral/dean’s office.
  11. The doctoral/dean’s office checks all of the formalities for the approval of the doctorate and approves the online publication of your doctoral thesis.
  12. Once Bonn University and State Library receives the approval from the deanery, your work is placed online. You will receive a brief notification about this by e-mail. The official confirmation of the electronic publication of your doctoral thesis is immediately sent to the doctoral/dean’s office.
  13. The printed and online versions of your doctoral thesis are catalogued and can thus be found in the bonnus search engine and in other regional and national catalogues.
  14. Two printed deposit copies remain at Bonn University and State Library: one copy is archived and the other copy is released for borrowing.
  15. The PDF file(s), abstract(s) and metadata for your doctoral thesis are sent to the German National Library, which, among other things, takes care of the long-term archiving of your doctoral thesis.

Costs of publishing your electronic dissertation

The electronic first publication of a doctoral thesis accepted at the University of Bonn is free of charge.

A fee of €40.00 is charged for the electronic publication of a doctoral thesis from the University of Bonn already published elsewhere (subsequent publication), and for the electronic publication of postdoctoral theses and other theses.

If a particular workload results from the submitted files not corresponding to the library’s specification or because additional services are agreed, €13.00 is charged for each quarter of an hour of working time begun to convert Word documents into PDF format.

Please also consult the list of fees and charges (in German) for the library system at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn from September 16, 2014.

Additional service to authors

  1. Naturally, you can also publish your postdoctoral thesis or previously conventionally published doctoral thesis online on the university publication server at Bonn University and State Library, provided that it is a doctoral thesis from Bonn. Read the detailed information about this at:
  • If you would like to give the readers of your doctoral thesis the opportunity to get in touch with you, we will gladly publish your e-mail address and/or the URL of your website.
  • If you have already published parts of your doctoral thesis elsewhere or intend to do so, we will be happy to provide a reference to this online. To do this, we require a complete literature reference:
    • Periodical title (unabbreviated), year, volume, issue, pages, author, and title of the article, or


      » If you have any questions, please get in touch with your contact person Elena Dyck

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