I am pulling data from a SharePoint list with listData.svc, and _metadata represent more than half of the response content.

Is there a way to return list fields only, without the metadata?

Below an example in JSON format, atom has a similar issue. What I really want is the data in bold.

{ "__metadata": { "uri": "http:/.../_vti_bin/listdata.svc/Contacts(2988)", "etag": "W/\"3\"", "type": "Microsoft.SharePoint.DataService.ContactsItem" }, "Contact": "christophe", "EmailAddress": "christophe@usermanagedsolutions.com", "Account": { "__metadata": { "uri": "http://.../_vti_bin/listdata.svc/Accounts(5570)", "etag": "W/\"5\"", "type": "Microsoft.SharePoint.DataService.AccountsItem" }, "Account": "Car Rental Inc" } }

  • How or where are you handling the response from the data service? Are you handling client-side (ie. javascript) or server-side?
    – Alban
    Jan 5, 2012 at 15:29
  • Client side. The objective is to build dynamic pages that respond to user actions.
    – Christophe
    Jan 5, 2012 at 17:22

4 Answers 4


Well, I am not absolutely sure, but I think the answer is: there is no way to skip metadata property. You may of course create a kind of proxy by implementing a custom web service which itself consumes listdata.svc and truncates the __metadata property? But it doesn't sound good to me.

You can of course skip all other unnecessary properties by defining the properties in an explicit way:


But I suppose, you already do this.

This metadata biest is still there. I hope someone can disprove my answer :)

  • Right, I explicitly select the fields. And because Account is a lookup, SharePoint serves two sets of metadata, one for the current list and one for the lookup list.
    – Christophe
    Jan 5, 2012 at 18:35
  • 3
    I just wanted to confirm that you cannot exclude the __metadata property as this is an important component of the RESTfulness of the ListData service. Remember that in REST-based services the URL represents the entity and when consuming a RESTful service you need to 2 things: has the entities state changed? (etag) and what is the unique URL that represents the entity? This is so that I can perform HTTP operations on it and its sub-properties and notify the UI if someone else has chanaged the item (mismatched etag). Jun 5, 2013 at 1:20

Your question implies that you already know the specific item. That makes it easier to isolate the data you want. Each of the lines shown will return a text response as shown below assuming that these are not "special" fields like choice, lookup, etc.

This URL will return christophe


This URL will return christophe@usermanagedsolutions.com


This URL will return Car Rental Inc


  • I only pasted one item as an example, but I am actually returning a set of items. This would definitely work great for a single value!
    – Christophe
    Oct 13, 2013 at 0:20

If you're querying lists data via _api/web/lists/getbytitle('Contacts')/items(2988), then try the request header "accept: application/json; odata=nometadata" (reference)

This suppresses __metadata from appearing in the response.

  • this is the right answer
    – Babu James
    Oct 14, 2020 at 20:04

This is a shot in the dark. As you said in your comment, you are building pages dynamically. I am not sure about this, but, I tend to think that if you have a view for the page that the data will be returned OUTSIDE of the metadata as you would expect. I have experienced this with lists.asmx, in that, field/column information or metadata would be returned in metainfo columns. If the fields were present in a view, then these fields were not apart of the metainfo columns. For my unique case, I created a specific view for my scenario, so my particular fields would appear normally in my response results. Again, my scenario has to do with lists.asmx, and I wonder if this could be similar. I wish I could give something concrete, but like I mentioned in the beginning, it is a shot in the dark.

If my theory is correct, verify that the view for this page contains the fields that you want returned in the results.

  • I'll try that. lists.asmx can target a view, but I don't know if the REST API can do it.
    – Christophe
    Jan 5, 2012 at 17:57
  • Apparently you cannot select a view with REST services, only use filters on the whole list.
    – Christophe
    Jan 5, 2012 at 21:17
  • Indeed, I targeted a specific view that basically contained all of the fields that needed to be returned in the response, and I would dynamically generate a view with the fields I needed if the view did not exist. In this case, lists.asmx and views.amsx were very powerful, but a pain in the arse to use.
    – Alban
    Jan 5, 2012 at 23:01
  • However, for other instances, I make substantial use of a service that encapsulates listdata.svc. The great thing is that you get a DataContext with stongly-typed objects when you use listdata.svc. However, I'm not sure you can achieve this with dynamic lists. With my experience, anytime you make a change to a list or library, the data service tied to the datacontext will have to be updated.
    – Alban
    Jan 5, 2012 at 23:01
  • What are you using to dynamically create these pages? Have you verified that the default view for your dynamically-created page or pages actually contain the fields for which you are looking?
    – Alban
    Jan 6, 2012 at 0:36

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