Dissertation with embargo

Notes on publication with embargo

You can choose to publish your dissertation with embargo if the doctoral regulations applicable to you allow this and there are copyright or patent law reasons for an embargo period. It is your responsibility to weigh up all aspects that may have an influence on the last day of the embargo (e.g. doctoral regulations, publishing conditions, patent application).

Basic principles:

  • The latest possible last day of the embargo results from the doctoral regulations.
  • Copyright or patent reasons influence the earliest possible last day of the embargo of the embargo.

Check whether there are reasons for a publication with embargo

Copyright reasons may exist, for example, in the case of cumulative dissertations, if conditions have already been agreed to by publishers/journals that do not (or no longer) allow independent second publication. Find out for which versions of your journal article(s) and how long the contractually agreed restrictions apply. The database SHERPA/RoMEO (non-binding) or the platform How can I Share it? (non-binding) provide guidance on current publishing policies on the subject of secondary publication/self-archiving. If in doubt, always ask your publisher/journal. They may give you written permission for secondary publication.

Patent law reasons may apply if a patent is to be applied for on the basis of the research results described in your dissertation and the research results may therefore only be publicly accessible from a certain point in time. In this case, always talk to your supervisor and the Dean's Office before setting the embargo date.

Check whether the applicable doctoral regulations permit publication with an embargo

First of all, check whether the applicable doctoral regulations. allow a publication with embargo. In the "Doctoral Regulations of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel" of 2018 states, for example:

"The [...] dissertation shall [...] be made accessible to the scientific public within one year after the [...] thesis defense. If the electronic publication is not possible for copyright or patent law reasons, the electronic publication of an abstract shall take place first. After two years, the entire thesis must be published."

Example calculations for publishing with embargo

Assuming that the above-mentioned "Doctoral Regulations of the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel" of 2018 apply and that your thesis defense was on June 1, 2021, you must publish your dissertation at the latest on June 1, 2022..

Example 1

A journal article that is part of your dissertation was published on March 1, 2019, and may not be secondarily published for two years.

The deadline has already expired. Publishing your dissertation with an embargo is not necessary. You can publish your dissertation immediately. Nevertheless, please note in which version you are allowed to second-publish your already published article - it is not always permissible to use the publisher's PDF.

Example 2

A journal article that is part of your dissertation was published on March 1, 2020, and may not be secondarily published for two years.

The deadline expires on March 1, 2024. Publishing your dissertation with an embargo is not necessary. You can publish your dissertation in the period 01.03.2022 - 01.06.2022. Nevertheless, please note in which version you are allowed to second-publish your already published article - it is not always permissible to use the publisher's PDF.

Publishing your dissertation with an embargo is, nevertheless, possible. You can publish your dissertation with the last day of the embargo in the period 01.03.2022 - 01.06.2022.

Example 3

A journal article that is part of your dissertation was published on March 1, 2021, and may not be secondarily published for two years.

The deadline expires on March 1, 2023. Publishing your dissertation with an embargo is necessary. You can publish your dissertation with the last day of the embargo in the period 01.03.2023 - 01.06.2023. Nevertheless, please note in which version you are allowed to second-publish your already published article - it is not always permissible to use the publisher's PDF.

Example 4

A journal article that is part of your dissertation was published on March 1, 2021, and may not be secondarily published for three years.

The deadline expires on March 1, 2024. Publishing your dissertation with or without an embargo is not possible. You must arrange an extension of time limit or a special solution with the examination office or the publisher, respectively.

If your dissertation includes multiple journal articles all conditions must be met. The embargo period must be based on the article whose second publication becomes possible last.