Nanotheranostics 2018; 2(3):269-270. doi:10.7150/ntno.27567


Passing the Baton - From the Editor-in-Chief

Moritz F. Kircher Corresponding address

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA

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Kircher MF. Passing the Baton - From the Editor-in-Chief. Nanotheranostics 2018; 2(3):269-270. doi:10.7150/ntno.27567. Available from


In 2011, Theranostics was launched with Editor-in-Chief Dr. Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen, and it is now firmly established as a highly respected and high-impact journal in its broad and important field. In 2017, its sister journal Nanotheranostics was also launched and Dr. Chen served as inaugural Editor-in-Chief.

I was privileged to be asked by Shawn if I would be willing to serve as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Nanotheranostics in the fall of 2017, because of his heavy workload in Theranostics. I accepted and have been in charge of handling the new submissions since November 2017. Since then, Shawn has been completing the submissions he had initially received, while also providing me with guidance in my new role. This is now a good time to discuss the focus of the new journal and a few aspects that should make Nanotheranostics attractive for prospective authors:

  • Justification: Why do we need a sister journal to Theranostics? The answer is quite simple. Nanotheranostics is an innovative, dynamic and fast-growing field, with cutting-edge technologies emerging from many aspects of medical and clinical research. The number of publications in nanotechnology related to theranostics has increased rapidly. A journal dedicated to theranostics in the nanotechnology space is not only warranted but also necessary to serve the growing scientific community. It is also evident in the number and the high quality of papers we have already been receiving in this journal.
  • Scope: The scope of the journal is broad in two important ways: Firstly, I am not a fan of restricting the definition of "nano" to the often used but arbitrary range of "1-100 nm". What is more important is whether the reported nanostructures provide properties that go beyond those of bulk materials. Bulk materials have constant physical properties independent of their sizes, whereas specific, size-dependent properties can be observed in the nanoscale regime. Nanotheranostics will not reject an article simply because the size of the construct it discusses exceeds 100 nm. At the same time, authors should keep in mind that, for example, antibodies generally exceed 1 nm in size and are therefore well within the scope of Nanotheranostics. Secondly, as many readers and authors of Theranostics are already aware, diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities do not necessarily have to be demonstrated in the same article. As long as the therapeutic implications are clear for a diagnostic agent, or vice versa, we are happy to consider a manuscript for publication in Nanotheranostics.
  • Speed: When I asked Shawn how frequently he takes care of journal-related tasks, he said “it's the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing in the evening." I am committed to following this management style as closely as possible. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest 'pet peeves' of scientists is being confronted with extended wait times after the submission of a new manuscript or a revision due to a lack of responsiveness on the part of editors, reviewers or journal staff. This makes authors feel they are at the mercy of the journal. At Nanotheranostics, there will be wait times inevitable for any journal employing a thorough peer-review process. However, there will be no unnecessary delays at the editorial stage, whether in response to an initial submission or during the revision process. We also remind reviewers early and often to submit their comments on time, with target turnaround times of two weeks for the initial assessment and one week for revisions. Accepted papers are published on the website (and thus in PubMed) ahead of their assigned issue, as soon as the proofs have been returned by the authors.
  • Ease of submission: Nanotheranostics employs the same simplified submission system as Theranostics, with as few formatting requirements as possible and the option to submit a single file in which all figures are embedded. We take this approach seriously, as we understand the frustration authors feel when they have to spend substantial amounts of time formatting their work without knowing if it will ultimately be accepted.
  • Freedom of space: I consider it important not to burden authors with specific limits on word count or figure numbers. I find it nonsensical to restrict the space for text or figures, something that is still the practice in most journals even if they are published online only. In Nanotheranostics, authors have more space that they need to tell their stories and, importantly, explain their experiments in sufficient detail to be reproduced by others. The exception is the number of references, which is limited to 200.

In receiving the baton, I would like to thank the following: Shawn for all of his efforts towards the successful launch of Nanotheranostics, the pioneer authors, the members of the founding Editorial Board, and the members of the publishing team of Ivyspring for their help and support. In the present period, when diagnostic and therapeutic technologies at the nanoscale are constantly evolving, I have no doubt that Nanotheranostics will soon become a highly respected journal and a great forum for scientific exchange in this multidisciplinary field.

Author contact

Corresponding address Corresponding author: kirchermorg

Published 2018-6-6