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If an author signed away exclusive publication rights to a publisher (i.e. the standard contract for non open Access journals), the author is no longer allowed to publish the content in another publication. If the author would like to use the content for a cumulative dissertation, i.e. publish a collection of published papers in bound form as their doctoral thesis, permission by the publisher is required for each text. How is your experience with this? Are publishers allowing this? Are they asking for additional conditions? Should authors consider his in advance when signing the original contract with the publishers?

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Some publishers certainly do allow this. For instance,

Dennhardt S. (2014) Overview of Papers Included in Doctoral Thesis. In: User-Generated Content and its Impact on Branding. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-02350-8_5


This cumulative dissertation consists of a number of published and unpublished papers either in conference proceedings or journals and follows the standards for cumulative dissertations at the University of Innsbruck – School of Management.

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We (research institute library) have made good experiences. Most of "our" papers are published with Elsevier, SpringerNature or Wiley. They all offer a very comfortable way of requesting the right to re-publish via RightsLinks / copyricht clearance center. So far we only heard of positive replies.

It may be that the author is only allowed to use the post-peer-review manuscript version of a paper (excl. type-setting by the publisher). It also has consequences for the licence you must pick for your whole dissertation. Usually, CC licences are not possible.

We advise all our authors to negotiate better re-use-rights (e. g. shorter embargo) when publishing in closed access journals, but I am affraid that only a few do so.

I found this information by the library of TU Berlin helpful:


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