The species extinction rate has been occurring at accelerating levels, such that scientists are concerned with identifying priority species and areas for conservation. Species that are better studied receive more conservation attention, so it is necessary to optimize our research efforts. However, factors contribute to some species being more studied than others. Our aim was investigate the biases and trends in allocation of research efforts on primate conservation, across species, themes and countries. We reviewed the literature for 20 years (1994 – 2014) from conservation journals and primatology journals, selecting papers with determined tags related to a primate conservation theme. We found 550 articles, and that theme has increased in the primatology, but not in the conservation, area. Fragmentation was the most addressed theme. Most of the authors are from universities and the research was conducted mostly in protected and unprotected areas. Most of the studies used an empirical approach, and were conducted in 49 different countries, with most published for the United States and United Kingdom. Of the studies from 55 different countries, Madagascar and Indonesia were those that had the most studies. The articles are related to 388 species, with Pan troglodytes the most studied. Allocation of research effort was motivated by time since description and species body size, but not by threatened status or size of distribution. Our results showed that the studies did not always reflect conservation needs. Primatologists need to rethink their priorities, to improve conservations efforts, focusing on conservation needs such as threatened species and important threats.