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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 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.

Corona 64pxDear PhD students,

due to the current corona situation, no personal appointments are possible in the office of the dissertations department until further notice. If you would like to submit deposit copies, you will find the current submission options below in section "Submission of the deposit copies of your doctoral thesis". We will send all confirmations of receipt to the doctoral/dean's offices by email anyway.
We are still available for you from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to at least 4 p.m. via [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] or +49 228 73-9533.

Stay healthy!

Your team at the dissertations department


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).

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.]
Due to the corona situation, it is not possible to submit copies in the office of the dissertations department. Please see the information in section "Submission of the deposit copies of your doctoral thesis".

In accordance with the doctoral regulations a confirmation of receipt will 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

Due to the corona pandemic, appointments in the office of the dissertations department are unfortunately not possible. You currently have the following submission options:

  • Sending the printed copies by post (at your own risk, address see below). For shipments from non-EU countries, please note the customs formalities. Shipments that are held up by customs in Germany are returned to the sender.
  • Personal delivery of the copies at the loan desk in the MNL Branch Library. Please note the service time for borrowing and book return.
  • Depositing the copies in the mailbox: You can deposit the copies in the mailbox at the employee entrance of the MNL Branch Library (on the side facing the parking lot) regardless of the opening hours, if they are packed in envelopes no thicker than 5 cm. Please do not use this option if you would like to hand in more than ten copies or copies with a very large number of pages.

In all three cases, the copies will only be checked and the confirmation of receipt will only be sent when we receive the copies from the post department or the loan department (usually three times a week). You will then receive a confirmation by email immediately.

The address for the dissertations department is:

Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn
Abteilungsbibliothek für Medizin, Naturwissenschaften und Landbau
- Hochschulschriftenstelle -
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
(ehemals: Nußallee 15a)
53115 Bonn

In accordance with the doctoral regulations a confirmation of receipt will 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 and
  • 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)
  • 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 and with a high-quality adhesive binding (e.g. PUR adhesive binding) or thread stitching.
  • The suitable format for deposit copies (DIN A4 or DIN A5) depends on the work's layout. Before printing, please turn to the dissertations department to discuss which one is the right format
  • Hardcover books with high-quality thread stitching or ImpressBind binding covers are also accepted.

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.
    The electronic doctoral thesis can be transferred: by providing an URL, as an e-mail to [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] (max. file size 10 MB), as a CD-ROM or DVD or on a USB flash drive.
  4. Formulate the text for the abstract(s)
    » To do this, read our “tips for formulating abstracts” (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. A scan of the signed document sent by email (in good quality only) is also accepted.
  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.
    To accelerate the publishing process of dissertations of the Philosophical Faculty, simply send a copy of the imprimatur/permission to print issued by the dean.
  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 publication of a doctoral or postdoctoral thesis accepted at the University of Bonn is free of charge.

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.

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

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

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