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.