First Steps

Running ezDL

ezDL is a Java Web Start application and requires a local Java 7 installation. By clicking on the button to the right, your installation will be checked and if necessary Java Web Start will be installed. Java Web Start ensures the most current version of the application will be deployed. You can save the file to your Desktop to create a quick start link, or just bookmark this link.


In the login screen you can choose between a German and an English interface. For these first steps you can leave the login details as they are (user: visitor, password: visitor), but later you might want to get your own account (see below).

Before Searching: choose sources (optional)

ezDL comes preconfigured for a quick start, and one digital source already selected for search. Optionally you can change the digital libraries that are searched. The selection will be remembered for your next start.


The easiest way to search is using the search form. Just enter all search words in the freetext field and write quotes around phrases like “information retrieval”. ezDL will automatically search for documents containing ALL words/phrases. If you want to search for documents containing ANY word/phrase within a field, use the OR operator. (Many sources don’t support OR natively, and queries containing OR might take significantly longer to process.)

If you enter conditions in more than one field, the documents must fulfill ALL conditions to match the query. Experienced searchers can create more complicated Boolean queries using the freeform search tab.

Sorting and Filtering

By default the results are sorted by perceived relevance to your query. You can change the sort criterium and/or order using the drop down menus positioned over the result list.

The filter field can be used to display only those results containing a specific string.

With the help of the extract menu you can find the most common terms or authors contained in the result documents.

View details, copy to clipboard, print

Clicking on an item from the result list will open the detail view. Often this will contain additional information like an abstract and a link to the full text (additional authorization might be necessary to access full texts). Details can be printed or copied to the system clipboard. These options are offered when hovering over the details.

For comparing details it might be useful to open the detail view in a new window. For this right-click on a result item and choose the option from the context menu.

The ezDL tray

To help you organize your search and results, ezDL offers a filing tray. You can copy documents to the filing tray and view to details later or create search terms for later use. Use drag&drop with the filing tray. In the future it will be possible to store the content of the filing tray between sessions.

Rerun old searches

Previous queries from the same search session can be rerun or edited from the query history. A feature to access searches from previous sessions is planned.

Like It? Get your own account!

In the future, user specific document storage, session support and adaptive search support will be added. If you like ezDL, you can get your personal user account. Or you can continue to use ezDL anonymously with the visitor account.