Newswise — DETROIT – The medical journal publishing original research in the field of obstetrics and gynecology with the highest impact factor is edited on the campus of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Thomson Reuters announced June 14 the 2016 impact factor of biomedical journals on its Journal Citation Reports, the world's most influential resource for evaluating peer-reviewed publications and the authoritative source of annual journal metrics, including the renowned Impact Factor of Journals.

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology ranked second in the discipline of obstetrics and gynecology with an impact factor of 5.574. Human Reproduction Update, which publishes only reviews and not original research, ranked first; therefore, for all intents and purposes, the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology is the leading journal in impact factor in obstetrics and gynecology publishing original research.

Roberto Romero, M.D., D.Med.Sci., chief of the Perinatology Research Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health, is editor in chief for Obstetrics of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The journal, the oldest in obstetrics and gynecology, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019, is edited at the PRB, on the campus of the WSU School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center.

“The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology has the highest number of citations of any journal in obstetrics and gynecology,” said Dr. Romero, who also serves as director of the Division of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine for the NIH and is a professor of Molecular Obstetrics and Genetics in the Center of Molecular Medicine and Genetics for Wayne State University.

“Throughout its distinguished history, the journal has changed the lives of women and their families, and the practice of obstetrics and gynecology.”

Dr. Romero offered numerous examples of landmark papers published on the pages of the journal, including:

  • The use of the Pap smear to detect cervical cancer, which has saved the lives of millions of women through early detection­.
  • The first immunoassay for the beta subunit of hCG – the basis for all pregnancy tests – which has allowed early diagnosis of pregnancy and has changed the lives of women.
  • The description of polycystic ovarian disease (also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome), which affects 10 percent to 15 percent of women.
  • The first description of the labor curve by Friedman – which is the basis for the evaluation of the progress in labor and is the key instrument to decide if and when to perform a Cesarean delivery, the most common operation in the world. A partogram is used in every labor and delivery around the world.
  • Post-coital contraception.
  • The non-stress test and that biophysical profile to assess fetal well-being.
  • The first description of the fetal inflammatory response syndrome, characterizing the response of the fetus to infection in utero.
  • The relationship between fetal heart rate patterns and neonatal outcome (i.e. fetal tachycardia, bradycardia, decelerations, etc.).
  • Criteria for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes by Carpenter and Coustan.
  • The first description of HELLP syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count), a form of severe preeclampsia.
  • Important advances in the understanding of the mechanisms of disease in obstetrics, such as the role of endotheliumand intravascular inflammation in preeclampsia and of cytokines (such as IL-1) in the onset of labor.

The impact factor, published independently by Thomson Reuters, is used to assess a journal's standing in scholarly literature through the objective evaluation of quantifiable, statistical information. The analysis comprises citation data, impact and influence metrics, and millions of cited and citing journal data points from the Web of Science, the industry's leading citation indices in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities.

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Romero noted, has introduced innovations in biomedical publishing and is committed to bringing information to physicians, scientists, midwives, nurses and patients, and has promoted changes to favor wide dissemination of its content with videos, PowerPoint presentations and other features. The journal has a new section to celebrate “Giants in Obstetrics and Gynecology,” recognizing the protagonists of the field and the stories behind the headlines.

The journal is published by Elsevier, the largest publisher in the world. The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology has a printed circulation of 42,000 in the United States, and is present in every major biomedical library and maternity hospital around the world. Its electronic presence and international footprint and influence have made it the premier academic journal in obstetrics and gynecology.


About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit