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Brazilian university-based science has grown rapidly in the last 20 years. Most of the PhD-level teaching, research, and technical publications are based in the government-supported universities, although there are also privately supported universities, which educate a large fraction of Brazilian attorney, business people, and other professions. We investigate here the relationship between type of university, numbers of degree program offered, number of faculty members, and number of published papers. Twelve universities, all government supported, are found to produce a very large fraction of publications and to house the best qualified PhD programs. We find that there is a strong correlation between research carried out with foreign collaborators and rate at which the resulting publications are cited. This trend is characteristic of many developing and less developed nations.

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Jacqueline Leta
Denise Lannes
, and
L. De Meis


The number of Brazilian scientific publications increased from 0.29% to 0.56% of the worldwide total during the 1981–1993 period. There was a decrease of the funds allocated to most scientific activities, except for that allocated for training of new scientists. The numbers of research fellowships and scientific publications increased at the same ratio during the period. The pattern of scientific publications and the number of fellowship granted along the years in the different fields of research were analyzed. The data presented indicate that even in a period of economic crisis, a selective investment of funds in human resources may lead to an increase of the scientific productivity of a country in all science fields.

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