I find the short form of the vasp tag are hard to remember. Is there a dictionary what these short form are stand for. For example USA stand for United States of America.

Here is the sample VASP tags, how should one remember or familiar with their meaning?

NSW    = 5 ! 5 ionic steps
IBRION = 2 ! use the conjugate-gradient algorithm

Is there a dictionary to tell people what are these capital letters stands for?


1 Answer 1


I think what you are looking for is the VASP wiki. So there are several ways you can approach.

First of all, you can search about the tags in the VASP wiki and it will open the wiki page associated with that tag.

Alternatively, you can look for your tag in this page: https://www.vasp.at/wiki/index.php/Category:INCAR_tag. It contains all the tags used in INCAR.

Lastly, you can also use the direct link. For example, if you are looking for the tag TAG, you would use: https://www.vasp.at/wiki/index.php/TAG. So, for NSW, you would use https://www.vasp.at/wiki/index.php/NSW or for IBRION, you would use https://www.vasp.at/wiki/index.php/IBRION.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much. Actually I am asking their naming conventions, such that the meaning of the shorted is obvious without even looking up. $\endgroup$ Mar 17 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think there exists any documentation like that. The naming convention doesn't follow any pattern or rules. Some of them are readily comprehensible such as ENCUT is for kinetic ENergy CUToff, ISPIN is for the Index that decides a SPIN polarized or SPIN unpolarized calculation, ISIF is for the Index of Stress and Index of Force etc. Not all of them make sense though. For example, GGA is for Generalized Gradient Approximation but in VASP they used it as a tag that determines the XC functional used. So, one can set GGA=some LDA functionals! $\endgroup$ Mar 17 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ The naming convention is a mess. $\endgroup$ Mar 18 at 15:13

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