The study of inferential processes constitutes a major focus of research on text comprehension. Recent research has resulted in interesting and important findings, as exemplified by the contributions in this issue of Discourse Processes. Studies differ substantially, however, in the types of inferences that they consider and in the methodologies that they use. As a result, it is difficult to interpret and integrate the findings. In this article, we present a theoretical and methodological framework for organizing empirical investigations of inferential processes in reading. The theoretical component provides an account of the various types of inferences that have been investigated. The methodological component, based on Jenkins' (1979) tetrahedral model of psychological experimentation, captures the impact of methodological variations across studies on the meaning of the results. The framework is applied in a discussion of central issues in current research on inference generation in reading.