Obligation to Publish Your Thesis in Germany

In Germany, you are obliged to publish your dissertation. We tell you which options you have.
Adrian Richter

After several years of specific research, tremendous effort and discipline, doctoral candidates turn in their theses and are immediately confronted with the next challenge: the publication. In Germany, one is obliged to publish their dissertation before a certain deadline. Only then will the doctoral certificate be awarded and the title bestowed. In this aspect, the German regulations differ to most other countries where the obligation to publish does not exist.

After successfully completing the oral examination, doctoral students receive print approval and can decide which publishing possibility they prefer. The choice is between classic publications options such as publishing it through a publisher, by the author him- or herself (self-publishing) or an open access publication. The open access publication is now accepted by almost all universities and offered through the university libraries. This variant of publishing is either free or has a moderate processing fee. With OpenD there is a possibility of a free second release.

When publishing via a publisher, one usually must anticipate costs in the four-digit range. Some publishers now offer a hybrid print and open access publication option, which is usually expensive.

Despite whatever method one chooses, it is highly recommended to register it with the VG Wort, which cares as a collecting society for secondary exploitation of (scientific) works. The VG Wort registration is free and may even generate some money.