The INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMN_FIELD_PATHS view contains one row for each column nested within a RECORD (or STRUCT) column.

Required permissions

To query the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMN_FIELD_PATHS view, you need the following Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions:

  • bigquery.tables.get
  • bigquery.tables.list

Each of the following predefined IAM roles includes the preceding permissions:

  • roles/bigquery.admin
  • roles/bigquery.dataViewer
  • roles/bigquery.dataEditor
  • roles/bigquery.metadataViewer

For more information about BigQuery permissions, see Access control with IAM.


Query results contain one row for each column nested within a RECORD (or STRUCT) column.

When you query the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMN_FIELD_PATHS view, the query results contain one row for each column nested within a RECORD (or STRUCT) column.

The INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMN_FIELD_PATHS view has the following schema:

Column name Data type Value
TABLE_CATALOG STRING The project ID of the project that contains the dataset
TABLE_SCHEMA STRING The name of the dataset that contains the table also referred to as the datasetId
TABLE_NAME STRING The name of the table or view also referred to as the tableId
COLUMN_NAME STRING The name of the column
FIELD_PATH STRING The path to a column nested within a `RECORD` or `STRUCT` column
DATA_TYPE STRING The column's GoogleSQL data type
DESCRIPTION STRING The column's description
COLLATION_NAME STRING The name of the collation specification if it exists; otherwise, NULL

If a STRING, ARRAY<STRING>, or STRING field in a STRUCT is passed in, the collation specification is returned if it exists; otherwise, NULL is returned
ROUNDING_MODE STRING The mode of rounding that's used when applying precision and scale to parameterized NUMERIC or BIGNUMERIC values; otherwise, the value is NULL

Scope and syntax

Queries against this view must include a dataset or a region qualifier. For queries with a dataset qualifier, you must have permissions for the dataset. For queries with a region qualifier, you must have permissions for the project. For more information see Syntax. The following table explains the region and resource scopes for this view:

View name Resource scope Region scope
Replace the following:

  • Optional: PROJECT_ID: the ID of your Google Cloud project. If not specified, the default project is used.
  • REGION: any dataset region name. For example, region-us.
  • DATASET_ID: the ID of your dataset. For more information, see Dataset qualifier.


The following example retrieves metadata from the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMN_FIELD_PATHS view for the commits table in the github_repos dataset. This dataset is part of the BigQuery public dataset program.

Because the table you're querying is in another project, the bigquery-public-data project, you add the project ID to the dataset in the following format: `project_id`.dataset.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.view; for example, `bigquery-public-data`.github_repos.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMN_FIELD_PATHS.

The commits table contains the following nested and nested and repeated columns:

  • author: nested RECORD column
  • committer: nested RECORD column
  • trailer: nested and repeated RECORD column
  • difference: nested and repeated RECORD column

To view metadata about the author and difference columns, run the following query.

  table_name = 'commits'
  AND (column_name = 'author' OR column_name = 'difference');

The result is similar to the following. For readability, some columns are excluded from the result.

  | table_name | column_name |     field_path      |                                                                      data_type                                                                      | description |
  | commits    | author      | author              | STRUCT<name STRING, email STRING, time_sec INT64, tz_offset INT64, date TIMESTAMP>                                                                  | NULL        |
  | commits    | author      |         | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | author      |        | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | author      | author.time_sec     | INT64                                                                                                                                               | NULL        |
  | commits    | author      | author.tz_offset    | INT64                                                                                                                                               | NULL        |
  | commits    | author      |         | TIMESTAMP                                                                                                                                           | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference          | ARRAY<STRUCT<old_mode INT64, new_mode INT64, old_path STRING, new_path STRING, old_sha1 STRING, new_sha1 STRING, old_repo STRING, new_repo STRING>> | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.old_mode | INT64                                                                                                                                               | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.new_mode | INT64                                                                                                                                               | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.old_path | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.new_path | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.old_sha1 | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.new_sha1 | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.old_repo | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |
  | commits    | difference  | difference.new_repo | STRING                                                                                                                                              | NULL        |