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[en] Insight into the mechanical characteristics of nanoscopic structures is of fundamental interest and indeed poses a great challenge to the research communities around the world. These structures are ultra fine in size and consequently performing standard experiments to measure their various properties is an extremely difficult and expensive endeavor. Hence, to predict the mechanical characteristics of the nanoscopic structures, different theoretical models, numerical modeling techniques, and computer-based simulation methods have been developed. Among several proposed approaches, the nonlocal continuum-based modeling is of particular significance because the results obtained from this modeling for different nanoscopic structures are in very good agreement with the data obtained from both experimental and atomistic-based studies. A review of the essentials of this model together with its applications is presented here. Our paper is a self contained presentation of the nonlocal elasticity theory and contains the analysis of the recent works employing this model within the field of nanoscopic structures. In this review, the concepts from both the classical (local) and the nonlocal elasticity theories are presented and their applications to static and dynamic behavior of nanoscopic structures with various morphologies are discussed. We first introduce the various nanoscopic structures, both carbon-based and non carbon-based types, and then after a brief review of the definitions and concepts from classical elasticity theory, and the basic assumptions underlying size-dependent continuum theories, the mathematical details of the nonlocal elasticity theory are presented. A comprehensive discussion on the nonlocal version of the beam, the plate and the shell theories that are employed in modeling of the mechanical properties and behavior of nanoscopic structures is then provided. Next, an overview of the current literature discussing the application of the nonlocal models of nanoscopic carbon allotropes is presented. We then discuss the application of the models to the investigation of the properties of nanoscopic structures from different materials and with different types of morphologies. Furthermore, we also present recent developments in the application of the nonlocal models. Finally, conclusions and discussions regarding the potentiality of these models for future research are provided.