'dft' is popularly used for discrete Fourier transform, which too is going to be a buzz word on this site. Let's just not use 'dft' as a tag and use full forms for both, density functional theory and discrete Fourier transform as tags.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree. There is already the verbose version created: density-functional-theory. Since we don't yet have moderators who could perform the merge, I'd suggest manual retagging. There are only a few instances to correct now. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2020 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Agree. I, like many before me, am also guilty of using 'dft' as a tag. Given that that method development, computational aspects as well as modeling details will be discussed in this SE, we need to be explicit. $\endgroup$
    – epalos
    May 1, 2020 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ Even a Google search for dft gives discrete Fourier transform 😅. Hope this SE makes density functional theory popular too. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2020 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ Where a discussion includes use of a discrete Fourier transform, I suggest FFT is used when a short form is desirable. Even "density functional theory" is no unambiguous, there are also other density functional theories, e.g. in fluid dynamics. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2020 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ @PhilHasnip how about something like 'ab initio DFT' for this DFT? $\endgroup$ May 16, 2020 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ @HitanshuSachania I appreciate the thought, but calling it "ab initio DFT" might be contentious. Some chemists don't consider DFT "ab initio", and I suppose if you use empirical exchange-correlation functionals then it isn't. It also may overlap with the nuclear physics usage. This discussion is primarily about what to use as a tag, so the long form isn't too unwieldy. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @PhilHasnip yes, it's easy to forget the expanse of density functional theory, especially for someone who only uses it in specific areas. Thank you for pointing that out. It makes perfect sense to let the long-form be the tag. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2020 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


I strongly encourage y'all to spell out tags as much as possible unless it's a dead-standard term as an abbreviation even outside your field... Like... scuba.

I'm happy to synonymize any of these to the master for you as I've done in this case.

As to why - well, the site should be something that people of all skill levels can get to know and feel comfortable using. If you're relying on shorthand, you're excluding people who might be newer to your field. It's also easier to see at a glance what it means. With abbreviations/initialisms there's always the chance that there will be need for disambiguation - that's much less likely if things are spelled out.


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