Authors of a PhD thesis may be approached by publishers who offer to publish their thesis for free. We usually advise against this because these publishers require you to transfer your copyrights.
Authors of a PhD thesis may be approached by publishers who offer to publish their thesis for free. These offers often come from a company, 'VDM Publishers'. VDM Publishers uses a variety of imprints like VDM, LAP, Lambert or Omniscriptum. For a complete list of their imprints, check their Wikipedia entry VDM Publishing.
Over the years we've regularly been asked to advise on these matters. Although the offer to publish may sound attractive, we usually advise against it. These offers usually require you to transfer your copyrights. This is a problem if your thesis contains journal articles. Journal articles are copyrighted by the journal, and authors are not entitled to transfer these copyrights to a third party.
Note: even if copyrights have been transferred to journal publishers, authors are almost always allowed to include their version of an article in their theses. If you are uncertain about the copyright conditions of a journal or a publisher, you can check the SHERPA/RoMEO list.
Wageningen UR Library makes electronic versions of PhD theses available in Dissertations. We ensure that no copyright issues arise with journal publishers. You can request an embargo period if your thesis includes articles that are in a submission process.