A cumulative thesis can consist of already published and/or unpublished individual works and have to form a united representation of the research work and of the results.
There exist no guidelines about the number of publications or the impact factor.
A cumulative work must have a title as a whole and contains, in addition to the data outlined in § 7, para. 5, a list of titles for the individual works, an introduction, and a unifying text that comprehensively interprets, evaluates, and discusses the individual works included in the cumulative work.
In a written doctoral work that has resulted from cooperation with other scientists, the work done by the doctoral student must be clearly defined and appraisable. The doctoral student is obliged to present his or her part in the conception, execution, and preparation of the report in detail.
Please note that the thesis have to be published after the defence and submitted at the university library, because only on that condition you will be able to receive the doctoral certificate and keep the title “Dr. rer. nat.”
You do not have to publish already published works any more, but you have to submit the details of the original printing place when you submit the voucher copies at the university library. This applies to electronic publications also.
In case you have no single right of use for a second publication on the data server your thesis will stay inaccessible to the public resp. there will be placed an embargo on your thesis for 12 month according to § 38 copyright law.
Considering that submitted but not already accepted works often will be overworked due to the requests of the publishing houses and will differ from the original version at the end, we recommend to use only already accepted publications for the cumulative work. This is because according to our rules the final publication has to be the same like the original submitted examination version without further corrections.
Please check if you have a right of use for a second publication according to the agreement with the publishing house. Otherwise, you have to wait until the publishing house has published your work. In that case, it can take a long time until you will receive your doctoral title.
We recommend all doctoral students to reserve the single right of use for themselves that enables them to upload their thesis on the data server of the university library. You can add e.g. the following term to the contract with the publishing house:
“The University Library of the Freie Universität Berlin shall be entitled to make the article freely accessible to the general public on the Internet or in some other form at the time of publication (alternatively 3 or 6 months after publication of the article)”.
Meanwhile the most of the big scientific publishing houses allow a single right of use for the publication on the auf data server of the universities; see also <http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/>.