DSS description Handbook

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This is a basic User's Guide for entering and editing Decision Support Systems (DSS) information. The purpose of this document is to provide users a method for entering the required information for each system.

  1. Here you find the list of semantic DSS description pages: DSSs with semantic properties
  2. Here you find the list of DSS description pages, based on common wiki syntax and generated with a deprecated version of the DSS description form. These pages will be migrated soon: DSSs which need to be migrated

The Handbook is divided into four parts: the DSS structure, how to create a new DSS, update or migrate a DSS description page or a DSS subpage


The DSS structure

The description of a DSS is divided into a main page an serval subpages, which are linked by a special property.

Main page properties

The main DSS description page contains the following property groups:

  • Wiki quality control
  • Name, responsible organisation and contact person
  • Description
  • Concrete application
  • Documentation
  • Support of social participation

Subpage linking-properties

Addtionally there are five properties linking to a subpage for an detailed description of:

  • Software identification
  • Decision support techniques used in the DSS
  • Support of Knowledge Management
  • Support of social participation
  • DSS development

Subpage namening conventions

It is recommended to observe the following naming conventions for the DSS subpages (default values when creating a new DSS description):

How to create a new DSS description

  1. Open the following link to create a new DSS description page: DSS description form
  2. Enter the name of your DSS into the text box and press "Create or edit"
  3. Fill out the form. Some fields are required and some not.
  4. Generally you should not change the default value for the detailed wiki pages (subpages)
  5. Save the page and the resulting DSS page will show up
  6. Click on the red colored links to fill out the DSS subpage forms


If the text is already available, as it may already be described in user's manuals, help systems or publications, it should not take more than one hour for the whole procedure of each system to be described.

Some notes are important to point out regarding the use of the DSS form

  • The form provided has been defined as a consensus document and is not specific designed for a specific DSS. It also does not need to be completely filled in.
  • Although the aim is to be as complete as possible, the form does not need to encompass all the features and characteristics required for the description of a given system. It is possible to add sub-sections where appropriate. Therefor, wherever possible, subsections should be added instead of full sections.

How to update a semantic DSS description page

  1. Navigate to the DSS page. (Use the common wiki search or the list of DSS's
  2. Use the "Edit with form" link to edit the DSS. (Link is only visible when logged in)
  3. Edit and save the DSS

Attention: Because of changes in the form and the templates, it may occur that certain fields need to be filled-in again. Also take a look at the "free text" field. Beside the references, it should be more or less empty, so try to migrate the text into the corresponding form fields.

How to migrate a non-semantic DSS description page

  1. Copy the following link by using CRTL + C: www.forestdss.org/wiki/index.php/Special:FormEdit?form=DSS&target=DSS-NAME
  2. Paste the link into your browser's address bar and DON'T press Enter
  3. Replace the last part of the link ("DSS-NAME") with your DSS name (for example "Agflor")
  4. Press Enter to open your DSS description page with the new semantic form
  5. A warning message that the page already exists should appear (otherwise something with the link is wrong or your DSS does not exist; if so, follow the instructions in the chapter "How to create a new DSS description"
  6. Scroll down to the end of the form page and you will find your DSS description text in the "free text" field. Use that text to fill in the form.
  7. Remove the existing category definitions for the DSS in the free text section. The form is meant to replace the 'old-style' categories
  8. Save your DSS description page