datalad metadata


datalad metadata [-h] [-d DATASET] [--get-aggregates] [--reporton TYPE] [-r] [PATH [PATH ...]]


Metadata reporting for files and entire datasets

Two types of metadata are supported:

  1. metadata describing a dataset as a whole (dataset-global metadata), and
  2. metadata for files in a dataset (content metadata).

Both types can be accessed with this command.


Report the metadata of a single file, as aggregated into the closest locally available dataset, containing the query path:

% datalad metadata somedir/subdir/thisfile.dat

Sometimes it is helpful to get metadata records formatted in a more accessible form, here as pretty-printed JSON:

% datalad -f json_pp metadata somedir/subdir/thisfile.dat

Same query as above, but specify which dataset to query (must be containing the query path):

% datalad metadata -d . somedir/subdir/thisfile.dat

Report any metadata record of any dataset known to the queried dataset:

% datalad metadata --recursive --reporton datasets

Get a JSON-formatted report of aggregated metadata in a dataset, incl. information on enabled metadata extractors, dataset versions, dataset IDs, and dataset paths:

% datalad -f json metadata --get-aggregates



path(s) to query metadata for. Constraints: value must be a string [Default: None]

-h, –help, –help-np

show this help message. –help-np forcefully disables the use of a pager for displaying the help message

-d DATASET, –dataset DATASET

dataset to query. If given, metadata will be reported as stored in this dataset. Otherwise, the closest available dataset containing a query path will be consulted. Constraints: Value must be a Dataset or a valid identifier of a Dataset (e.g. a path) [Default: None]


if set, yields all (sub)datasets for which aggregate metadata are available in the dataset. No other action is performed, even if other arguments are given. The reported results contain a datasets’s ID, the commit hash at which metadata aggregation was performed, and the location of the object file(s) containing the aggregated metadata. [Default: False]

–reporton TYPE

choose on what type result to report on: ‘datasets’, ‘files’, ‘all’ (both datasets and files), or ‘none’ (no report). Constraints: value must be one of (‘all’, ‘datasets’, ‘files’, ‘none’) [Default: ‘all’]

-r, –recursive

if set, recurse into potential subdataset. [Default: False]


datalad is developed by The DataLad Team and Contributors <>.