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Set up regular content reviews

Make it easier to keep documentation up to date by configuring the page expiry notifier, Daniel the Manual Spaniel.

How it works

Daniel the Manual Spaniel checks for pages that are due for review. It looks at the review_by dates in your /api/pages.json file, which is generated when you build your documentation.

The Tech Docs Template calculates review_by from the page expiry parameters you set in the page frontmatter.

When review_by is in the past, the page is due for review, and Daniel the Manual Spaniel sends a Slack notification to the page owner:

Screenshot of a Slack notification from Daniel the Manual Spaniel. The user has a spaniel cartoon profile picture. The message says hello followed by a paw prints emoji, and then announces: this is your friendly manual spaniel. I've found a page that is due for review: Support (today)

The page owner can be a Slack group or a Slack user. You can configure owners for:

When defining the owners, frontmatter configuration overrides global configuration.

Daniel the Manual Spaniel will continue notifying the page owner every weekday until review_by is in the future.


For Daniel the Manual Spaniel to be able to scan your documentation you must set:

  • page expiry parameters in the frontmatter
  • owners for your documentation

Set up the page expiry notifier

There’s guidance on setting up Daniel the Manual Spaniel to scan your documentation in the alphagov/tech-docs-monitor GitHub repo.

See an example pull request to set up Daniel the Manual Spaniel.

This page was last reviewed on 1 July 2020. It needs to be reviewed again on 1 July 2021 by the page owner #gds-technical-writing .
This page was set to be reviewed before 1 July 2021 by the page owner #gds-technical-writing. This might mean the content is out of date.