The impact factor, which measures the average citations to articles published in a journal, has risen for more than half of the specialist titles published by international publisher, BMJ Group and held steady across most of the others.

Several titles have also shot up the leader board in the world rankings in their particular sectors.

The latest 2010 figures, published in the Journal Citation Report, Science Edition, show that 15 titles have increased their impact factor (IF).

BMJ Group currently publishes 40 titles in addition to the BMJ, which is ranked 6th in the world in the category of general medicine (IF 13.471).

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  remains in pole position in the field of rheumatology for the third year running, with an IF of 9.082.

Thorax remains second in the respiratory medicine category, ahead of Chest, with an IF of 6.525, while Gut now has an IF of 10.614―an increase of 1.26 on last year― and is ranked number 3 in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology.

Sexually Transmitted Infections rose 16 places in the world rankings and is now second among journals publishing sexually transmitted diseases research. Its IF rose from 2.175 in 2009 to 3.029 in 2010.

The Journal of Medical Genetics IF has jumped to 7.037, an increase of 1.286 on the previous year, at a time when many of its competitors have remained steady. The journal’s ranking has also moved up to 16th position, with many titles ahead of it review publications.

The Fetal & Neonatal Edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood has also jumped 16 places to reach 7th in the world rankings for paediatrics, with an IF of 3.13.

Similarly, the British Journal of Sports Medicine has increased to 3.545 from 2.547 in 2009. It is now ranked 6th in the sports sciences category, while the Journal of Medical Ethics moved up the rankings in the medical ethics category to 5th position.

Postgraduate Medical Journal (IF of 1.605) is another title that has enjoyed a substantial rise up the world rankings, moving up 11 places for the medicine, general and internal category to 50th position.

Two of the Group’s titles, published under its Affinity programme—which offers full publishing services to professional societies—have received their first ever impact factors.

These are the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, published on behalf of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery, with an impact factor of 1.069, placing it 11th in the neuroimaging category; and Acupuncture in Medicine, published on behalf of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, with an IF of 1.381, placing it 12th in the integrative and complementary medicine category.

Commenting on this year’s results, Peter Ashman, Publishing Director at BMJ Group, said: “We are delighted that so many of our journals have achieved an increase in this year’s rankings.  

The BMJ’s continuing influence on global health is undeniable, and it is equally gratifying to see such large increases for journals such as the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Gut, and the Journal of Medical Genetics, as well as the British Journal of Sports Medicine, where our partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has greatly increased the global influence of this title.”

He added: “We are also happy to see that the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, which we launched only in 2009, has come straight in at number 11 in its field.”