Doctoral thesis

All doctoral theses completed as part of a doctoral research project at FAU must include an affiliation to the University (Section 2 (2) of the FAU General Doctoral Regulations (RPromO)).

Printing costs

Doctoral candidates can find that publishing their thesis entails considerable costs that are not easy to recover. Authors must usually pay part of the printing costs if a publication is very specialist and the target audience is small. This means that sales will be more difficult and it will not be possible to cover the full price of production through sales. In such cases, the publisher will require the author to pay towards the printing costs. This provides greater security for publishers when publishing academic texts.

Some third-party funding providers that fund projects also provide funding for costs related to publication of the results. To find out whether this is a possibility, please contact the funding provider directly. Some scholarship organisations and research training groups also provide funding for printing costs. It is most difficult to find funding for printing costs for doctoral candidates who are not already receiving some form of funding. For example, the DFG only provides funding for printing costs in exceptional cases. More information is available in the DFG’s guidelines on publication grants (German).

Some foundations provide funding for publications in certain subjects (German):

You can also search for foundations that provide funding to cover publication costs in the Deutsches Stiftungszentrum database (German). It is also worth looking at our page with information on funding databases.

A small number of publishers fund printing costs, although this is sometimes linked to certain conditions.

Each year the publisher Verlag Barbara Budrich issues a call for applications for doctoral theses. The entries are evaluated by a panel of specialists and selected theses are then published free of charge by Verlag Barbara Budrich in its ‘promotion’ series (German).

Publication options

The RPromO sets out various possibilities for publishing theses (Section 15 RPromO). In addition to publishing the thesis in this way, it is of course extremely desirable for the results to be published in international scientific journals or other publications. Ideally, this should happen whilst you are still working on your doctoral thesis. There are a number of options available to you for dealing with these so-called ‘pre-prints’ in your doctoral thesis in accordance with the applicable subject or faculty doctoral regulations (FPromO). If you want to publish your results after completing your doctoral degree or have them protected by patent, it is recommended that you refrain from publishing your doctoral thesis straightaway. This is possible either by making the most of the deadlines stipulated in the doctoral regulations or by applying for an embargo notice for the publication of the doctoral thesis. Further information is available in an information sheet from the Graduate Centre.

Another alternative is to publish your doctoral thesis in electronic form. If the doctoral regulations for your subject permit this option, you should take a look at OPUS FAU where you will find information on online publication at the University. Please also read the information on the University Library’s website.

Information on funding for open access publications is available on the open access page. It is also important to check the quality criteria for open access publishers beforehand.

In addition to electronic publication on OPUS FAU as mentioned above, FAU University Press offers the possibility of having your publication printed in book form through its publishing service. FAU University Press provides support during all stages of the publication process, which is discussed in detail with the author, and commissions a print-on demand service, enabling small print runs to be produced at low cost. Further information on the publication process and who to contact is available on the FAU University Press website.

Doctoral theses that have received the distinction ‘summa cum laude’ can also be published in the ‘FAU Forschungen‘ series. Decisions on which theses to include in the series are made by the FAU University Press advisory board. Doctoral theses and other theses can also be published in the ‘FAU Studien’ series. To have your thesis published in this series you simply require a recommendation from the appropriate chair.

Print-on-demand services produce small print runs. Additional copies can be printed at a later date if required. This keeps the publisher’s warehousing costs low and removes the uncertainty of whether enough sales will be generated, allowing books to be printed at considerably lower cost. The author is not usually required to pay any printing costs.

However, some conditions may be specified in the faculty doctoral regulations, such as with regard to the minimum number of copies or the period during which additional copies may be printed.

VG Wort (in German) is a copyright collective – a group of authors and publishers which engages in collective rights management. Its main task is to ensure that authors and publishers receive the best possible revenue from those required to pay fees and to pass this revenue on to those who are entitled to it with the least possible administrative work. It sets fixed fees for authors whose works can be used by third parties (e.g. through library loan).


If you are planning to publish an article in English, the Language Service can provide support with translating or editing your work. The costs involved depend on the subject and scope of the text and are charged at an hourly rate according to the actual time required. Please contact the Language Service for a quote.


Susanne Jäckle

Project Manager Language Service / President’s Office

Language Centre (SZ)