There has been a nearly fivefold increase in the amount of Australian general practice research published in 1990-1999 compared with the previous decade. The university departments of general practice and other university departments have been responsible for most of the research. GPs were involved in at least 60% of all of the research reviewed. Half of the research was found to be clinically pertinent to the front-line GP. The National Health Priority areas, introduced in 1994, were poorly represented, but it is probably too soon for this research to be published. There has also been little research on rural general practice. This review provides a starting point for classifying general practice and primary healthcare research in the future.