Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com
Some people might not feel that the design of clinical trials have advanced that far. National human research ethics arrangements like the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007 updated 2018) require that research is informed by a thorough review of the literature and is a genuine search for knowledge (Merit & Integrity). Of course, as illustrated by this humorous Don Mayne cartoon, sometimes there will not be prior work and researchers will need to base their work on sound supposition. Hopefully more sound than this. This is why research ethics committee of perfectly will be within their rights to inquire about a researchers review of the literature.