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Editor Spotlight: Camelia Delcea

In this latest installment of our Editor Spotlight series, we speak with Academic Editor Camelia Delcea from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. Dr Delcea tells us about her experience with the PLOS ONE Editorial Board, her experience of using openly available data to validate results, and how her research on the boarding of airplanes changed when new variables related to infection control were included.

Camelia Delcea received the Ph.D. degree in economic cybernetics and statistics from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania. She is currently with the Economic Cybernetics and Informatics Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies. Her research interests include agent-based modeling, operations research (optimizing the airplane boarding methods and improving the evacuation process), grey systems theory, artificial intelligence systems, companies’ financial and non-financial analysis, risk management, nonlinear and dynamic systems, consumer’s behavior, online social networks, and sentiment analysis. Dr. Delcea is an Active Member of the Grey Uncertainty Analysis Association. She received 19 international and national awards, including the Best Paper Award, the Georgescu Roegen for Excellent Scientific Research Award, the Excellent Paper Award, and the Top Reviewer Award. She was invited to deliver a keynote speech on grey systems themes at the IEEE GSIS Conference, in 2013, 2016, and 2017; and the GSUA Conference, in 2018.

PLOS: What do you enjoy most about being an Editorial Board member at PLOS ONE? What are some of the challenges?

CD: First and foremost, it is a tremendous honor to have been appointed as an Editorial Board member at PLOS ONE, considering the journal’s international reputation and the esteemed researchers who have published within its pages. Additionally, the journal provides an excellent platform for connecting with fellow researchers from different disciplines, enriching one’s knowledge and abilities within a scholarly community.

The interaction with Senior Editors, both on the platform and beyond, is invaluable as it offers constant support whenever needed. Serving on the Editorial Board exposes me to a wide array of research topics and methodologies, granting me a broader perspective on scientific trends. It also compels me to stay updated with the latest advancements in various fields, fostering professional growth. Participating in the review process gives me a profound sense of contributing to scientific progress by promoting rigorous research through a fair peer review system.

However, challenges do exist. Time management can be an issue, especially during periods of increased submission loads and when other professional and personal commitments demand attention. Finding sufficient time to thoroughly evaluate each article and provide constructive feedback can be challenging during such periods.

Overall, the rewards of being an Editorial Board member at PLOS ONE far outweigh the time management challenge, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the journal’s mission of advancing scientific knowledge.

PLOS: How important are open science practices in your field? Do you have experience of reusing data or code that has been published openly, or other researchers building on your own work when you have shared things like code or data?

I believe that open science practices hold immense significance in my field. Access to data, code, and research findings can foster advancements across various disciplines, cultivating a more inclusive scientific community and driving innovation.

Personally, I have experienced the benefits of open science in both replicating and validating different aspects of my research over time. Utilizing openly available resources has facilitated efficient comparisons with results obtained from similar studies. By starting from validated results acknowledged by the scientific community and building upon the work of respected researchers, it instills a sense of belonging to a research community and accelerates the pace of research.

Regarding my own research, whenever the opportunity arises, I have made a conscious effort to openly share code and data to the greatest extent possible. I strongly believe that open science practices play a pivotal role in every scientific endeavor, fostering collaboration and advancing scientific knowledge.

PLOS: You’ve worked on the safe boarding of airplanes during the Covid-19 pandemic. What surprised you about modeling and understanding these real-life scenarios?

Working on airplane boarding methods in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges, primarily due to the diverse restrictions imposed by different countries, territories, and airlines. There has been a race against time to offer the best safety solutions to passengers. Prior to the pandemic, our focus was mainly on cost reduction and increasing passenger satisfaction. These aspects were measured through conventional indicators such as boarding time and the number of interferences. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a shift, emphasizing the crucial need for adaptability in a global effort to address a real-life global crisis. In this context, new indicators were required to measure safety during the boarding process.

Surprisingly, some of the boarding methods that worked well in non-pandemic situations proved less effective from a safety perspective, underscoring the importance of adhering to specific rules that were previously overlooked. This realization highlights the significance of following strict protocols during boarding to ensure the safety of passengers, which has been partly overlooked in the past.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from working in this field during the pandemic is the importance of collaboration with experts in the field. It has been a transformative experience, shifting our focus to prioritize the safety of passengers in the face of a global crisis.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by contributors are solely those of individual contributors, and not necessarily those of PLOS.

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