In principle, there are two ways to publish your thesis: through a trade publisher or as an electronic publication, for instance, with the University Library repository.
A publication in printed form with a renowned publisher is usually an expensive endeavour. Often the publisher will share the costs of publishing the dissertation with its author. The author's contribution to printing costs is meant to ensure that even with moderate sales the publisher's costs to publish a dissertation are covered. This is often agreed between the author and the publisher on an individual level.
On the structured doctoral degree programmes or in third party funded projects, it is often possible to apply for funding for printing cost contributions. If this not the case, external funding organisations such as foundations or the VG Wort, a German collecting society representing the copyright interests of authors, may be approached for financial support. You can research possible sources of funding for printing cost contributions on the ELFI Databank. University members have open access to ELFI.
Members of Bielefeld University are able to publish their dissertations and postdoctoral theses free of charge on the internet in electronic form at PUB-Theses.
The work is permanently archived by the University Library and, with the help of the author, is indexed and bibliographically referenced. In addition, dissertations and postdoctoral theses will be submitted to the German National Library. Each work is given a long-term and stable internet address that can be referenced. The work is quickly made available online, is visible and can be researched from all over the world. Only two printed copies of dissertations need to be submitted, which significantly reduces the financial expense for the author.