Create a validator that can validate multiple json files.

json_validator(schema, engine = "imjv", reference = NULL, strict = FALSE)



Contents of the json schema, or a filename containing a schema.


Specify the validation engine to use. Options are "imjv" (the default; which uses "is-my-json-valid") and "ajv" (Another JSON Schema Validator). The latter supports more recent json schema features.


Reference within schema to use for validating against a sub-schema instead of the full schema passed in. For example if the schema has a 'definitions' list including a definition for a 'Hello' object, one could pass "#/definitions/Hello" and the validator would check that the json is a valid "Hello" object. Only available if engine = "ajv".


Set whether the schema should be parsed strictly or not. If in strict mode schemas will error to "prevent any unexpected behaviours or silently ignored mistakes in user schema". For example it will error if encounters unknown formats or unknown keywords. See for details. Only available in engine = "ajv".

Validation Engines

We support two different json validation engines, imjv ("is-my-json-valid") and ajv ("Another JSON Validator"). imjv was the original validator included in the package and remains the default for reasons of backward compatibility. However, users are encouraged to migrate to ajv as with it we support many more features, including nested schemas that span multiple files, meta schema versions later than draft-04, validating using a subschema, and validating a subset of an input data object.

If your schema uses these features we will print a message to screen indicating that you should update when running interactively. We do not use a warning here as this will be disruptive to users. You can disable the message by setting the option jsonvalidate.no_note_imjv to TRUE. Consider using withr::with_options() (or simply suppressMessages()) to scope this option if you want to quieten it within code you do not control. Alternatively, setting the option jsonvalidate.no_note_imjv to FALSE will print the message even noninteractively.

Updating the engine should be simply a case of adding {engine = "ajv" to your json_validator or json_validate calls, but you may see some issues when doing so.

  • Your json now fails validation: We've seen this where schemas spanned several files and are silently ignored. By including these, your data may now fail validation and you will need to either fix the data or the schema.

  • Your code depended on the exact payload returned by imjv: If you are inspecting the error result and checking numbers of errors, or even the columns used to describe the errors, you will likely need to update your code to accommodate the slightly different format of ajv

  • Your schema is simply invalid: If you reference an invalid metaschema for example, jsonvalidate will fail

Using multiple files

Multiple files are supported. You can have a schema that references a file child.json using {"$ref": "child.json"} - in this case if child.json includes an id or $id element it will be silently dropped and the filename used to reference the schema will be used as the schema id.

The support is currently quite limited - it will not (yet) read sub-child schemas relative to child schema $id url, and does not support reading from URLs (only local files are supported).


# A simple schema example:
schema <- '{
    "$schema": "",
    "title": "Product",
    "description": "A product from Acme\'s catalog",
    "type": "object",
    "properties": {
        "id": {
            "description": "The unique identifier for a product",
            "type": "integer"
        "name": {
            "description": "Name of the product",
            "type": "string"
        "price": {
            "type": "number",
            "minimum": 0,
            "exclusiveMinimum": true
        "tags": {
            "type": "array",
            "items": {
                "type": "string"
            "minItems": 1,
            "uniqueItems": true
    "required": ["id", "name", "price"]

# Create a validator function
v <- jsonvalidate::json_validator(schema)

# Test if some (invalid) json conforms to the schema
v("{}", verbose = TRUE)
#> [1] FALSE
#> attr(,"errors")
#>        field     message
#> 1 is required
#> 2 is required
#> 3 data.price is required

# Test if some (valid) json conforms to the schema
    "id": 1,
    "name": "A green door",
    "price": 12.50,
    "tags": ["home", "green"]
#> [1] TRUE

# Using features from draft-06 or draft-07 requires the ajv engine:
schema <- "{
  '$schema': '',
  'type': 'object',
  'properties': {
    'a': {
      'const': 'foo'

# Create the validator
v <- jsonvalidate::json_validator(schema, engine = "ajv")

# This confirms to the schema
v('{"a": "foo"}')
#> [1] TRUE

# But this does not
v('{"a": "bar"}')
#> [1] FALSE