How to get descriptions for fields in Jira?

When fetching data regarding which fields an issue contains such as:

GET /rest/api/2/issue/createmeta

or fetching the transitions for a issue:

GET /rest/api/2/issue/{issueIdOrKey}/transitions

I’m not getting the description for the fields. There is a ‘workaround’, which would be to use:

GET /rest/api/2/field/search

but that isn’t working for all users and only the description for custom fields will be returned.

Does anyone know of way to fetch the descriptions for all fields that can be used for all users?

Hi @jenny,

To me it seems like get fields paginated is the appropriate resource to be using.

only the description for custom fields will be returned

To clarify, I think the description of every field is returned by this resource, except many if not all of the standard fields have empty descriptions.

that isn’t working for all users

Can you clarify what you mean by this.


Hi @dmorrow,

I have added descriptions to some of the standard fields and when creating an new issue using default Atlassian those descriptions is shown. But when I do the search using

GET /rest/api/2/field/search

I still only get the once for the custom fields.

When adding an new issue from default Atlassian:

But when fetching the data for summary I get the following:

By not working for all users I mean that if I have a user with the following setup, how can create new issues but isn’t allowed to fetch the description using the search API mentioned above:

Regards, Jenny

Hi @jenny,

It seems that there is a disconnect between the descriptions you enter in the Jira admin UI vs the descriptions that appear when retrieving them using the REST API. I’ll investigate this further.

The REST API is intended for use by apps rather than directly by users.


After a bit more investigation, it appears there are two “types” of description of field in Jira. The Field description which is a standalone one and will return if the fields are fetched without any issue context (ie. project - issue type pair). The other one is Field configuration description, which is the one that can be edited via the field configuration admin screen and will be returned when fields are fetched within some issue context.

Exactly how would I do that? I’m fetching the information using:

GET rest/api/2/issue/createmeta?expand=projects.issuetypes.fields&projectIds=10226&issuetypeIds=10105

which includes both issue type and project but I’m not getting the descriptions for the fields.

Which rest point should I use instead?

@dmorrow Hi would like to follow up on this. Please see Jenny’s comment.

Thank you!