What is a frame of reference?

The frame of reference or frame of reference is a text that identifies and exposes the antecedents, theories, regulations and / or guidelines of a research project, an action program or a process.

The main function of the frame of reference is to collect the antecedents of a subject of study (theories, experiments, data, statistics, etc.). By doing this, the researcher can identify gaps and questions to explore that justify his project. You can also identify an established theoretical tradition to support your hypothesis.

In a thesis or scientific or humanistic research work, the reference framework can be considered equivalent to the theoretical or conceptual framework when it identifies and exposes the concepts that support the argumentation of the hypothesis.

For example, in an investigation on the "History of the cultural policies of nation X", the researcher should build his or her frame of reference by mentioning the following questions, after the material selection process:

  • Reference to capital works of other researchers on the subject. Namely: theoretical research (for example, what are cultural policies), historical, sociological, anthropological, psychological, etc.
  • Reference to the most relevant previous experiences or data, both at the public and private level.
  • Reference to State documents that address "cultural policies" or related terms (art, education, etc). These documents may include the constitution, nation plans, management guidelines, minutes, etc.

The reference framework also has an application in institutions, organizations, departments or administrative areas. In these cases, it is made up of the documents that establish a common basis in an organization of any type, that is, it refers to the criteria and models that govern the approaches, operations or decision-making.

For example, an institution's framework for learning, teaching, and assessment will detail the criteria for developing learning manuals and the parameters for measuring student knowledge.

You may also be interested in the following meanings:

  • Theoretical framework.
  • 5 examples of theoretical maro.
  • Research protocol.

How to make a frame of reference

To develop a frame of reference or frame of reference, the following aspects can be taken into account:

  1. Make a review of the available literature on the subject (theoretical or historical material, references to experiments, reports or statistics as the case may be).
  2. Choose a guiding theory from the reviewed literature.
  3. Select the key terms that will be used in the research.
  4. Write the frame of reference in an orderly fashion.

Frame of reference in physics

In physics, the reference frame or reference system is defined as a coordinate system that allows describing the position in which an object is located. With the frame of reference, both in physics and mechanics, it is possible to detect changes in position, movements and other parameters within an environment and with defined variables.

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