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ment. First, human factors work carried out by Department of Defense laboratories occupies a niche that cannot be filled by academia or industry. Second, human factors experts must be able to demonstrate how their work helps to further the broader strategic goals of the Department. Third, they must convince management that the specific program being proposed represents the best investment for human factors—in other words, they must justify why the laboratory is doing one kind of research instead of another. And fourth, experts must make the case that human factors is a more worthy investment than another technological area. This may be difficult, since the Department of Defense can be conservative when it comes to supporting nontraditional technologies. Much of the reputation of the Department of Defense laboratory system rests on its credibility with the second key audience, product users, and the scientific community. The laboratories have gained this credibility by doing work that has practical applications and that adds to the scientific knowledge base. However, human factors laboratories have not effectively reached a critical subgroup of product users, the designers and engineers of military systems. Some designers remain unconvinced that human factors research can significantly improve the usability of their systems. Since many of today's systems are being developed with computer-aided design and engineering, human factors specialists must create products that are compatible and workable in a computer-aided context.

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