EPFL theses

The Library archives all the EPFL theses dating from the first one in 1920. The theses are referenced some days before their public defence and are distributed according to a schedule validated by the Dean’s office. Some may be temporarily unavailable for reasons of confidentiality.

The electronic versions of the theses are for the most part freely accessible via Infoscience. Theses with restricted access (EPFL intranet) can be ordered free of charge by filling in the form below. The Library also offers the loan of theses in printed form (BEAST catalogue).

Useful links for PhD students

FAQ End of thesis
REPRO – Print Center guidelines
Author’s agreement for EPFL Alumni

As thesis author, the PhD candidate retains all rights to his or her work and can offer it to a commercial publisher for publication as long as the work has not been funded by any third party (non-EPFL mandate). In this case, prior consent of the principal is required.

The EPFL for its part has no reservations concerning the publication of its theses, but draws authors’ attention to the fact that the Library freely distributes electronically

1. the thesis abstract on the Internet

2. The full text of the thesis

a. either freely on the Internet (given the author’s consent, which may be withdrawn at any time on request.)

b. or on the EPF/ETH Domain intranet (in this case everyone has the opportunity, subject to strict non-commercial use conditions, to order a free PDF version of the full thesis).

The author should therefore inform his or her future publisher of these provisions, and furthermore the fact that the EPFL reserves the right:

1. to keep a summary of the thesis on the Internet

2. to keep the PDF fulltext on the intranet

3. finally the EPFL will offer anyone requesting it an access to PDF fulltext subject to strict conditions of non-commercial use.

Recently, publishers such as LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, a subsidiary of VDM Publishing, started contacting EPFL PhD students to offer them the publication of their thesis on a print-on-demand model and their diffusion through online booksellers such as Amazon.com.

Although the benefits of a larger diffusion brought by on-demand printing are legitimate, the EPFL Library wishes to warn authors that before committing their work to a publisher, the following details should be clarified:

– Diffusion rights must be clearly stated. In particular, authors are advised to hold the copyright rather than yielding it to the publisher

– All EPFL theses being already freely available via the library’s website and their contents having been scientifically validated by the institution, the publisher must display the following information wherever the work will be made available: this work can be freely downloaded from the EPFL website, with the DOI link to the original document; its content is a PhD thesis submitted to EPFL; all information from the original thesis title page (academic defense date, jury composition, etc.) must be visible on the printed version of the document.

– The added value supposed to be brought by a publisher should not be limited to bulk publication on online platforms: a promotion plan should be presented to the author.


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