How to customize the dataset schema

If you have additional specification requirements, replacing the dataset schema in DKAN will allow you to store additional metadata for a dataset beyond the default metadata. As long as you provide a valid JSON schema, any information going into the metastore will be validated against it.

To change the schema being used, copy the entire schema/collections directory out of dkan to your docroot directory (docroot/schema/collections). Then make any modifications necessary to the dataset.json file inside the collections directory. Add your custom field(s) under “properties”.

"properties": {
  "myNewField": {
    "title": "Custom Field",
    "description": "Some descriptive text.",
    "type": "string"


You can remove metadata fields with the exception of the distribution property, this one must remain present in the dataset.json file.

Note that even if you are only changing the dataset.json schema, it is important to copy ALL of the schema files as DKAN will be expecting all of the schema files to be in the same location.


Warning: The schema is actively used by the catalog to verify the validity of the data. Making changes to the schema after data is present in the catalog should be done with care as non-backward-compatible changes to the schema could cause issues. Look at Drupal::metastore::SchemaRetriever::findSchemaDirectory() for context.