Publishing the thesis
Take a look at the doctoral regulations (Promotionsordnung) of your faculty in order to find out which sort of publishing is required. Usually there are several options of publishing such as submitting hard copies, publishing electronically, publishing with a publisher or a scientific journal. Wait for the permission to print from your supervisor before publishing.
What kind of publication?
For your decision you might take into account several factors:
- the costs of publishing
- the additional time exposure, f.x. for manuscript formatting
- the reputation of the publisher or the range of the database
- the distribution and the availability of your dissertation
- the time it takes to get published
Depending on your financial and temporal resources you should consider if it could be useful for your further career to secure the highest possible distribution or to avail yourself of the reputation of the medium of publication.
Ways of publishing
Otto-von-Guericke University offers, just as many others, the possibility of publishing your dissertation electronically and for free on the server of the university library. Using meta databases like DartEurope your work can be found Europe-wide.
Information by the Magdeburg University Library
General information on online publications by the German National Library
DissOnline: information portal on online publications by the German National Library (only available in German)
You print your dissertation on your own, f.x. in a copy shop, and let it be recorded to the university's bibliography at the university library.
Notification Procedure for publications at the Magdeburg University Library (only in German)
Beside bigger and smaller specialist publishers, there are the ones specialised on dissertations. Usually, they demand a lower contribution to the printing costs or do even offer to print for free. In order to choose the best publisher among the choice of services, make sure to reveal hidden costs or disadvantages. It may happen that the publisher excludes you completely from profit-sharing, reduces the quality of layout, drops quality controls or does not have any marketing operations.
A choice of German dissertation publishers of all subjects (all websites in German):
Dissertationsverlag Dr.Hut München
Verlag Dr.Kovač Hamburg
Sierke Verlag Göttingen
Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften (SVH)
Akademische Verlagsgemeinschaft München (AVM)
Optimus Verlag Göttingen
Mensch & Buch Verlag Berlin
A choice of German dissertation publishers of various subjects (all websites in German):
Tectum Verlag: cultural, social, economic sciences and law
Verlag Alma Mater Saarbrücken: humanities, esp. economics and law
Cuvillier Verlag Göttingen: humanities, engineering, science
Campus Verlag Frankfurt am Main: humanities. for diss. in English distribution world-wide
It is both more expensive and time-consuming to get published at a well-known scientific publisher of your subject. But this effort can be worth it f.x. when you are planning an academic career: Your dissertation tends to be rated higher, if it is listed next to notable authors. In addition, it will have a bigger distribution and most probably get a higher attention.
An affordable alternative can be Printing on Demand (PoD). PoD means the file of your dissertation will be saved at a publisher but not printed before it is requested. In that way you do not have to pay for stock holding costs or fulfill a minimum circulation. Your dissertation will be assigned to an ISBN.
A choice of PoD publishers:
The Open Access movement aims to make scientific literature free available for everyone on the Internet. By this means scientific and scholaric information will be easily accessed and used which contributes to the broad distribution of knowledge and the scientific work in general. Of course, this movements breaks with the tradition of keeping information strictly locked to the author or the publisher. It cedes information to the Internet user who will be able to print and search documents without technical barriers. The author's integrity on his/her work will not be harmed. After its initiation, the Open Access movement has been strongly supported, f.x. by the German Research Foundation which has integrated Open Access Publishing into its funding guidelines.
In Open Access publishers or Open Access papers you as a doctoral student have the possibility to publish your dissertation as well. There are different strategies of using Open Access: First publication via Open Access (golden way), simultaneous or subsequent archiving (green way) and the publication via Open Access beyond conventional distribution (grey way). The latter means for example the online publication on universities' servers (see above). Essential questions for you as an author such as the financing, the impact factor or the protection of your rights will be answered on the website named below. Please notice as well the the helpful link by ScholarlyOA which presents a list of potential predatory OA publishers and how you may detect a publisher as questionable.
The German Copyright Act protects the interests of the originator of a work from literature, science and arts. It is distinguished between the originator's moral rights and the right of exploitation. The moment a work is created, it is secured from being used and exploited by someone else than the creator. He/She alone will be the originator and has the right to decide if and to what extent the work shall be changed by someone else, reproduced or distributed. If several people have created a work together, the other authors are considered co-originators of the work and have to be consulted for any of these decisions.
The originator's moral rights are effective even beyond death (ending 70 years after the originator's passing), so that there is no possibility of using or changing the author's work without his/her approval.
The exploitation right stands alongside the inalienable moral rights. It governs the economic use of the work and can be transferred to someone else by the author. In that way it is possible to transfer the exploitation right to a publisher both for exploitation in material form (reproduction, distribution, exhibition) and non-material form (presentation, broadcasting, video/ audio recordings etc.). The latter are called ancillary rights.
Contract of Publication
Usually, the author and the publisher make a contract of publication where the exploitation rights, including the ancillary rights, are transferred to the publisher. The moral rights of the author remain unaffected and stay with the originator. The publisher in return commits itself to distribute the work and pay a fee as agreed upon. In this way a permanent contractual obligation is created which, however, can be terminated out of important reasons, f.x. when the publisher is incapable to produce a new edition of the work in an adequate period of time.
Limitations on Copyright
In recent years, the copyright law has been subject to many discussions ranging between the protection of intellectual property and public interests. As a result, there are several limitations and exceptions especially concerning scientific works. Just to name some of the most important: It is legitimate to make copies for private use, to distribute excerpts at schools and universities and to distribute the work via E-mail and intranet under certain conditions. In order to fulfil the originator's copyright financially, lump sum remunerations are charged from potential distributors and distributed to the originator i.a. by the collecting society (VG Wort).