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Dissertations, Electronic Dissertations, and Copyright

1) What options are there to publish my doctoral thesis?

Please note that perhaps not all faculties offer all options.

  • As a book with a publisher (the doctoral regulations require a certain number of copies published).
  • As a journal article
  • As a cumulative dissertation (submission of some peer-reviewed articles; the doctoral regulations of your faculty state whether a cumulative dissertation is possible and whether it has to be published again as a complete work).
  • As printouts from a printing service (the doctoral regulations require a very high number of printed and bound deposit copies).
  • As electronic dissertation:

    Theses on the publication server can be found world-wide, are freely accessible, re-usable, and long-term preserved. Besides, you don’t need as many printed deposit copies. To publish the dissertation electronically is possible at all the faculties at the University of Regensburg (see the respective doctoral regulations).

    The doctoral regulations at the Faculties of Natural Sciences I-IV for example require the supervisor’s written consent to an electronic dissertation. Please check also any copyright and licensing issues before publication to avoid any conflicts with third party rights: If you wish to additionally publish your thesis with a publisher, the latter must have agreed to an electronic publication by the University Library (see also question 11). It is not possible to change the documents after publication!

2) Are there any formal requirements for the thesis?

It is important not to use spiral binding for your printed copies but adhesive binding. The copies must be printed on permanent wood-free and acid-free paper. Apart from that there are no further formal requirements by the University Library for the printed deposit copies of electronic dissertations.

Information as to formal requirements by the faculties can be found on the faculties’ web pages, in the doctoral regulations, or at the examination offices. In particular the design of the title page often is specified. Medicine and economics for instance only accept deposit copies in DIN A5 format!

Black-and-white printing is acceptable only if it does not influence readability and comprehensibility of the thesis (for instance, of figures or graphics), i.e., if the color has a purely aesthetic function.

When submitting an electronic dissertation, the PDF version, on grounds of citation, must be identical to the print version! Printing out the PDF file guarantees that the formatting of printed and electronic version is identical. For printed copies in DinA5 for example, the pages of your PDF are just minimized to DinA5 in the copyshop - although they were originally layouted for DinA4. (Thus, in some cases the font will of course be quite small.) If you must/want add your CV in the print version but not in the electronic one, please replace it with blank pages in the PDF so that the pagination of the PDF and the print version is identical to the end. Subsequent modification/deletion of a published dissertation is no longer possible! Therefore, please remove your CV and personal acknowledgements in advance and replace them with blank pages.

The files uploaded to the publication server must be free of password protection or encryption and must allow printing and saving.

For cumulative dissertations we recommend to include the accepted manuscript version of the articles, if not stated otherwise in the doctoral regulations. Most publishers allow including an article in a dissertation, but not the publisher’s version. Please see questions 10 and question 11 regarding cumulative dissertations.

3) Which official forms do I have to submit?

Forms of the faculties

This depends on your faculty, see the doctoral regulations. The forms are either available at the examination office, at the faculty administration, on the faculty website, or as an appendix of the doctoral regulations.

If you need to defer the publication of your thesis, you additionally have to submit a form of your faculty with the request for postponement of publishing your thesis on the Internet. This is only possible in justified cases, e.g. for pending patent procedures.

Form of the library

For your electronic dissertation you also have to submit the signed form “Abgabe elektronischer Publikationen” (submission of electronic publications) along with your printed deposit copies and the other forms of your faculty at the thesis department in the central library (see last question for contact information). With this form, you grant the University Library the right to store your document electronically, to make it available in public data networks, and, if necessary, to convert it into other data formats. This right also applies to the German National Library and, if required, to the special collection libraries. Furthermore, you affirm that you have checked any copyright and licensing issues and that the elctronic publication does not conflict with any third party rights (i.e., if you want to additionally publish your thesis with a publisher, the latter must have agreed to the electronic publication by the University Library). Also, you declare that the doctoral committee (Promotionsausschuss) has approved the publication of your thesis, and that the electronic version is identical in form and content to the approved original version.

The form "Abgabe elektronischer Publikationen" is available in different versions. They vary in the rights of use you grant. We recommend to use the Creative Commons license CC BY, so that the community can disseminate the work easily or rebuild on it. Another possiblity is for example CC BY-ND. You can find detailed information on Creative Commons licenses on our legal information page. In exceptional cases (e.g. if already published or submitted essays are integrated), you should choose the publishing license. Please print out one of these forms (also findable in the “Upload” stage of the workflow on the publication server) and hand it in at the thesis department in the central library.

4) How many printed and bound deposit copies do I have to hand in if I publish my dissertation electronically?

The library needs 5 (law just 3) printed and bound deposit copies. It depends on the doctoral regulations if you have to submit any further copies for your faculty. The philosophical faculties and law need no further copies; business and economic sciences, the natural sciences, and medicine need one copy for the faculty; Catholic theology needs 2 copies.

(April 2016)

To publish a thesis which has an ISBN and is listed in the german list of deliverable books, please pay attention to the following paragraph.

5) My thesis should get a ISBN and be visible for the bookshops.

There's also the possibility to release your thesis with the university library instead of printing the deposit copies in a copyshop. In this case you get a print product of high quality with appealing appearance. You can decide how many pieces to order and you can always reorder copies. Additionally, your publication gets an ISBN and is listed in the german list of deliverable books ("VLB - Verzeichnis lieferbarer Bücher"), so that it is also visible by the bookshops and can be ordered. The related PDF is available by our publication server. You retain the user rights of the work.

For additional information and an individual calculation of the costs, please contact Nadia Gianfrancesco, phone: 0941 943 3935, E-Mail: buchpublikation.ub@ur.de. Already published works and more information can be found under Elektronisches Publizieren - Gedruckte Publikationen (in German).

6) How do I deposit my thesis on the publication server?

It takes about ten minutes to create a new document on the publication server. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions! It is rather self-explaining but here are some hints so that you can submit your work without problems:

For the deposit on the publication server you should have prepared the PDF, at least 3 keywords, the title in German and English and an abstract in German and English (with a maximum of 5000 characters). The translations don't have to be exactly the same as the German versions; for the translated abstract some sentences would be sufficient. The content descriptions are necessary so that the work can also be found with English search terms respectively that non-German-speaking scientists can also get an overview of the work.

Publication format for your electronic dissertation is PDF. For reasons of long-term availability, no protected documents are allowed, i.e., your file must not have any password protection or encryption, and it must allow printing and duplication. Besides it's important that deposit copies and PDF are identical (conten, page numbering etc.)

The PDF file is uploaded to the review area on the publication server which is not publicly accessible. After the entry is reviewed by the library team, it is published, unless you have submitted an additional form of your faculty with the request for postponement. After publication changes are no longer possible!

1. Log in / Register

To deposit your thesis on the publication server, you have to “register” (only the first time) your computer center account, see the menu on the left, and then you can immediately “log in” with the account registered. There's no confirmation mail after registration. For a guest account please ask Mr. Schmidt, phone 0941 943-3904, email dissertationen@uni-regensburg.de.

2. New Item

Go to “Manage deposits” on the left-hand menu and click on the “New Item” button on the top of the page.

3. Type, Details, Status

Choose “Thesis of the University of Regensburg” (not "Thesis") as item type. Always click on “Next” for the next step. Fields with a red star are mandatory fields and must be filled in. Enter your first name and family name as it is written in your dissertation. RZ user name and ORCID (a uniquely identification number for scientists) are not mandatory. The contact email address must still be valid for a longer period of time. Enter title, first name and family name of your first referee as stated in the dissertation. If you have been paid by a project or if your thesis is published in a series, please indicate this in the corresponding fields. Superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, etc. can be copied into the title and abstract fields as Unicode characters (you can find some frequently used special characters for copy and paste on this help page). When coming to the date, choose “Publication” as the date type. The thesis department of the library will enter the exact date here when publishing your thesis; until then you can choose the “?”.

4. Institutional Affiliation, Subjects, Upload

After specifying one or several corresponding institutions and subjects, you get to the “Upload” stage where you can find again the different forms for publishing licenses (see question 3). Choose one of them, sign it and hand it in at the thesis department in the central library. We recommend choosing the CC BY license. Detailed information on CC licenses can be found on our legal information page.

Now you can upload your electronic document to the publication server. If there are difficulties (e. g. the upload doesn't work or is too slow), just give us a call. Into the fields below (you may need to click on “Show options”) please enter: “Format: PDF”; “Visible to: Anyone”; “License”: your chosen Creative Commons license or "Abgabe elektronischer Publikationen", respectively, if you don’t want to allow ohters to reuse your work; “Language”: the language of your thesis.

5. Deposit Item Now

In the last stage, by clicking on “Deposit Item Now” you can transfer your record to the review area where librarians will check it before publishing.

Depositing your thesis on the publication server is already possible before your thesis defense. The dissertation will not be published before you have passed your doctoral examination and you have submitted all the necessary forms and deposit copies (please submit forms and deposit copies to the library after your thesis defense only; a short notification is recommended).

7) How can I log in to the publication server if I don’t have a University account any more?

If you don’t have a University account any more, please ask Mr. Schmitt or Mrs. Lang, phone 0941 943-3904, email dissertationen@uni-regensburg.de, for a guest account.

8) I want to publish my dissertation at a later date.

In justified cases (e.g. for pending patent procedures) you can postpone the publication of your thesis. For this you have to sign the corresponding form of your faculty. On the publication server, please refer to the postponement in the “title” field by writing “Freigabe zum …” in front of the actual title. Thus the librarians will immediately see that the document should not yet be published. You should upload the PDF file as explained in question 6, and hand in the deposit copies and the forms at the dissertation department at the central library (see last question for contact information). After the librarians have reviewed the document, the faculty administration gets an acknowledgement of receipt and will then issue the doctoral certificate. The printed copies won’t be passed on to the other departments and the electronic version won’t be published until the release date.

Please note: The thesis must be published within a certain period after the doctoral exam, depending on your doctoral regulations. Exceeding the deadline results in losing all rights acquired by the doctoral candidate through the examination. In the Faculties of Natural Sciences I-IV, medicine, biology, law, and economics, postponement is possible for one year at most, in Catholic theology it is two years at most, and in the philosophical faculties three years at most.

(April 2016)

9) Can I deposit my work on the publication server when it is already published by a publisher?

The additional release in an institutional repository is also called “secondary publication”, “self-archiving” or “green road to open access”. The benefits thereof are an increased visibility, world-wide findability by search engines, easy and free access, and hence the better usage of the works. In particular, the authors benefit from higher citation rates. Through easy access to research results, the general public can achieve a higher level of knowledge and see what research is done with taxpayers’ money. Documents deposited in a repository (whether institutional or disciplinary) are archived indefinitely, i.e. they can for example still be found and cited under the same DOI or URN even if the scientist changes the institution.

If you want to reuse an article already published by a publisher in your dissertation and release it on the publication server, please pay attention to question 11.

In order to see if you are allowed to self-archive also your other works on the publication server, you could check different possibilities. Detailled information can be found under legal information.

10) How to retain the rights for secondary publication in the publisher's contract?

For monographs, books, book contributions, etc. which are published by the traditional route (without open access), the publisher normally demands the exclusive rights from the authors. That means that you keep just a few possiblities to use your own work. In an individual publishing agreement you fix the conditions. You should secure your right to self-archive your work in this agreement, so that you can re-publish your work on repositories and thus make it more visible!

You should also try to retain the right to publish a freely available electronic version in standard journal contracts. Herefore you could discard the specific passages which forbid self-archiving or you could add an amendment to the contract. Thus these publications can be found more easily and would not be hidden behind paywalls which leads to greater usage.

A detailled, German guideline can be found on our site with legal information.

11) Can I publish my thesis again with a publisher?

With the upload of the thesis, you give us just a non-exclusive right, so that we can publish your work on the publication server. You keep the further rights and hence can use and re-publish your work as you want, except there are any third party rights (e.g., participating companies).

Publishers usually state that the do not accept works already published elsewhere. However, most publishers except dissertations from this rule. Some publishers do not accept online theses. We have gathered some information on the acceptance of dissertations from a number of publishers: Information on secondary publication of dissertations as journal articles and on using journal articles as part of a (cumulative) dissertation. A direct request can of course be worth it.

12) Can I use an already published journal article as part of my (cumulative) thesis?

Whether your a cumulative dissertation is possible at your faculty can be found in the respective doctoral regulations.

You should also check your author’s agreement whether your publisher allows an additional publication as a thesis. Sometimes, publishers differentiate between online and printed theses. Many publishers allow reusing an article as a dissertation, but often there are constraints whether the submitted manuscript version, the accepted version (after including the reviewer’s comments), or the publisher’s version can be used.

Information on reusing your own publications can also be found on the publisher’s websites – usually under the headings “Authors’ Rights”, “Copyright Transfer Statement”, “Copyright Transfer Agreement”, “Consent to Publish”, “Copyright – Permissions”, “Manuscript Guidelines”, “Ethics”, “Guidelines”.

The University Library already looked for publisher’s information on reusing articles as a thesis. We offer an overview on Springer, Elsevier, Wiley, Hindawi, SAGE, American Chemical Society, Nature Publishing Group, DeGruyter, Frontiers, PLOS, Thieme, Hanser.

In case you cannot find the information for your rights there, many publishers (e.g., Springer Wiley, Elesvier) offer an automated examination of your request by the RightsLink service of the Copyright Clearance Center. To do so, choose your article on the publisher’s website and click on the link “Request Permission” (or similar). You will be redirected to the “Copyright Clearance Center”. Then select “Reuse in a dissertation/thesis” and you will ususally get a free license to include the original article in your dissertation.

IPR License is also an online platform for the automated trade with reprint rights, representing German publishers and e. g. SAGE, Cambridge University Press, Emerald, Wiley, Wolters Kluwer.

If you have published your article open access under a Creative-Commons-licence, you did not transfer the copyright to the publisher and thus, you can continue to use your work as you like.

13) I’d like to use an illustration for my thesis from a journal article (or a book chapter) I have written. Do I have to ask for permission?

Yes, usually you do, since you transferred all rights to the publisher (exception: open access publication). However, many publishers allow reusing parts of your publication in your thesis. In case of a book you should check your individual author’s agreement, in case of journals there are standard agreements.

Information on reusing your own publications can also be found on the publisher’s websites – usually under the headings “Authors’ Rights”, “Copyright Transfer Statement”, “Copyright Transfer Agreement”, “Consent to Publish”, “Copyright – Permissions”, “Manuscript Guidelines”, “Ethics”, “Guidelines”.

In case you cannot find the information for your rights there, many publishers (e.g., Springer, Wiley, Elsevier) offer an automated examination of your request by the RightsLink service of the Copyright Clearance Center. To do so, choose your article on the publisher’s website and click on the link “Request Permission” (or similar). You will be redirected to the “Copyright Clearance Center”. Then select “Reuse in a dissertation/thesis” and you will ususally get a free license to include the original article in your dissertation.

IPR License is also an online platform for the automated trade with reprint rights, representing German publishers and e. g. SAGE, Cambridge University Press, Emerald, Wiley, Wolters Kluwer.

However, if the illustrations are mere representation of data without any design/editing, you do not need to ask for permission, since pure data are not protected by copyright.

14) How can I publish research data to my dissertation?

In the sense of Open Access we recommend to make also research data (e. g. measurement and survey data, laboratory values, audio-visual information, texts, software or simulations) accessible by the publication server if you have the rights therefor. Thus, the data are re-usable and can be cited with an URN or a DOI. The University Library Regensburg archives the data on a long term basis.

Research data as supplement to your dissertation

If you collected underlying research data to the dissertation and added them as CD-supplement to your printed copies, please upload these data together with your dissertation's PDF to the publication server. The research data will then be stored on a long term basis, made visible and transferred to the German National Library together with your PDF and the appropiate meta data.

Therefor create an item with the type "Thesis of the University of Regensburg" according to question 6. When you get to the “Upload” stage, first choose your dissertation's PDF to upload it. Then click on "Durchsuchen" for a second time and choose the file with your research data. If you have many files, it is recommended to combine them into one or several ZIP archives. For every uploaded file you can choose additional options, e.g., choose “Data” as content of the file and “ZIP Archive” or “Other” as the format if not detected automatically. Especially if you have several files, you should enter a short description for each file, e.g., “Graphics”, “Measurements”, or the like. Also, you can assign a license to each file that allows re-use of your data – for research data, we recommend the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) which allows others to re-use your data when citing you properly.

Further research data

If you wish to publish research data which was created during the research process and which is not supplement of your printed copies, please create a new item on the publication server. The document type usually should be “dataset”. In the next step, fill in your author name, contact email address, date, keywords, and projects if applicable, as in the item for the dissertation. An example for a title could be Data to the dissertation “Title of the dissertation”. As a summary you may give a description of the data. Enter the item ID of the item of your dissertation in the field “Superordinate Entry” (you can find the item ID as part of the item’s URL: &eprintid=12345 or, if the item has been published already, http://epub.uni-regensburg.de/12345). If your dissertation has not yet been published, you could ask for simultaneous publication of dissertation and data in the field “Comments and Suggestions (to a member of the library)”.

More information on publishing research data on the publication server is available on the page Research Data. If you have any questions or problems with publishing your data, please contact Cornelia Lang, phone: 0941 943-3904, e-mail: daten@ur.de.

15) What are CC licenses?

Information on CC licenses can be found on our legal information page.

16) Other thesis (e. g. bachelor thesis, master thesis)

Students of the University of Regensburg can make their thesis publicly available through the University Library.

One possibility is to hand in a printed copy and the corresponding form at the examination office.

Another possibility is the publishing on the Publication Server of the University of Regensburg, whereby the works can be found world-wide, are freely accessible, re-usable, and long-term preserved. Please keep to the guidance on "6) How do I deposit my thesis on the publication server?" Instead of using the forms available there, please submit the form "Einverständniserklärung zur elektronischen Veröffentlichung einer Abschlussarbeit auf dem Publikationsserver der Universität Regensburg". You don’t need to state a license on the stage "Upload". An additional submission of a printed copy is not necessary.

If there are further questions, just contact us

17) FAQ to the publication server

More FAQ to the publication server can be found on our help pages.

18) Whom can I ask if I have further questions regarding electronic dissertations, and where can I hand in my deposit copies and forms?

During the closure of the University Library due to the Corona Pandemic, we can currently only be reached by e-mail.

Gregor Schmidt or Cornelia Lang
phone 0941 943-3904
E-mail dissertationen@uni-regensburg.de
Room 525 (take one of the doors on the left side at the information center)

When publishing your dissertation electronically, please deposit it on the publication server at first (see instructions at question 6) and then submit the deposit copies together with the faculty's forms and the library's form (see question 3) after the doctoral examination in our thesis department in the central library. Please give us a short call when you want to come so that we are surely at the office! Submission is usually possible Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. (a short notification is recommended) or on appointment.

Of course you can also send the deposit copies with the faculty's forms and the library's form by mail to

Universitätsbibliothek Regensburg
Hochschulschriftenstelle - Herr Schmidt
Universitätsstr. 31
93053 Regensburg

Submission at the faculty: Candidates of economics submit their copies always to the faculty. Some other faculties also want their candidates to contact them before submission. When publishing your dissertation with a publisher, as a cumulative dissertation, or as a printouts from a printing service, please submit it also to your faculty.

  1. Homepage UR

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Publication Server


Publishing: oa@ur.de
0941 943 -4239 or -69394

Dissertations: dissertationen@ur.de
0941 943 -3904

Research data: datahub@ur.de
0941 943 -5707

Contact persons