Universität Bonn

Open Access Service Center

Doctoral theses in Open Access

Open Access means that your doctoral thesis is available for free without others having to pay for it. At the University of Bonn, the publication server bonndoc is suitable for this purpose. Financing of Open Access doctoral theses is possible via the publication funds of the University of Bonn.

The Open Access Service Center and the Dissertations department will be happy to help you!

Publishing a doctoral thesis in Open Access?

The good news: Yes, it is possible to publish a doctoral thesis in open access! There are different ways:

  • Publication on the repository bonndoc of the University of Bonn. Here you will find instructions from the University's Dissertations department.
  • Publication of articles in an Open Access journal (for cumulative dissertations, in many cases you can also publish them on bonndoc).
  • Publication as an Open Access book in a publishing house
  • However, it is important to check your department's policies to ensure that your dissertation publication complies with all formal requirements. Therefore, please also note the general information on publishing your doctoral thesis from University of Bonn.
Publication forms doctoral thesis
© Open Access Service Center

ca. 88 %

of all Bonn dissertations are published in open access on bonndoc

ca. 65 %

of articles in cumulative dissertations in Bonn appear in open access

Comic Dissertation
© CC BY 4.0, TU Berlin

Funding an Open Access dissertation

There are various ways to fund the publication of your doctoral thesis in open access. Here are some options:

  • Use university resources and take advantage of our publication funds! You can easily apply for our publication fund for articles. Doctoral theses published as monographs are also funded under certain criteria.
  • Apply for scholarships and grants! For example, there are funding programs and foundations that support Open Access.
  • Negotiate with the publisher! Some publishers offer open access options. Check your publishing contract and the option to publish for a second time.

Information & Best Practices

Exchange and visibility are especially important for PhD students. At the same time, open access publication during the writing process is still not very common, especially for monographs.

But there are options. A good example is the project "Open PhD Thesis" ("Offene Doktorarbeit"): For the first time, a dissertation was published directly and immediately during the writing process for everyone, freely accessible at any time, under a free license (CC-BY-SA).


Open Access Service Center


You can email us at:


University of Bonn
MNL Branch Library
3rd floor, Room 2.019
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
53115 Bonn, Germany

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