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CIRS Self-Study Training Guide for Professional Online Research - Printable Ver.4.0 English

CIRS - Certified Internet Research Specialists
This book is developed as a Self-study Training Guide to assist you in preparing for the CIRS® examination. The book is most suitable as a Practical Guide or Reference for mastering the art of Online Research by anyone that uses the Internet as a primary tool for informat ...Read more
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Short Desctiption :

This book is developed as a Self-study Training Guide to assist you in preparing for the CIRS® examination. The book is most suitable as a ...

  • Description
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This book is developed as a Self-study Training Guide to assist you in preparing for the CIRS® examination. The book is most suitable as a Practical Guide or Reference for mastering the art of Online Research by anyone that uses the Internet as a primary tool for information gathering - Learning topics in this book will serve to assist you in applying the practical approach in building complex search queries and using search tools.

Even if you are someone that is starting a career involving extensive online research with a minimal technical background, you will find that the book will start you with the basic concepts and gradually take you to the expert levels fairly quickly - this is due to the use of simple English combined with plenty of screenshots captured as exhibits – It contains hundreds of practical examples, easy to follow illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs and several lists of information resources and links.

The course for the CIRS® certification exam is divided into four (4) modules check more details below.

[Note: Students taking online classes will find the Units are split into several Lessons ]

Details of CIRS® Exam Syllabus 4th Edition



This module has two 2 units

The Internet is a collection of connected networks. While the Internet’s network is at the core of making the web pages visible, it contains hypertext links to connect users to these pages. The search engine stores billions of web pages on their server; these servers can be in any location throughout the World. Every Web page has a name attached to it so that browsers, and you, can find it. The knowledge of how these pages are indexed (stored) and reached via web browsers is useful to the online researchers when they apply search queries in finding relevant information pages.

Networks & Internet – Unit 1

The online researcher will gain knowledge and understanding of how the Internet connect with millions of different types of network and how basic networks work?  

Topics Covered in Unit 1

  • How are the networks designed?; and 
  • What are their hardware and software components?
  • How the information and data travel between networks?
  • How do the different networks make the Internet?
  • Internet Browsers and Web Applications.
    • Web Applications Vs Desktop and Mobile Applications.
    • Websites Development and Hosting of Websites by ISP’s.
    • Online Applications Database Vs Search Engine “Textual Database”.
Internet Connections, Websites and Browsers – Unit 2


This module has two 2 separate sections [includes seven (7) units]

1. Research Methods

The Research Methods includes fundamentals of conventional research. The approach explained in this section covers the industry’s research standards, conventions and methods applied by traditional research practitioners.

2. Internet Research

The Internet Research is considered a core section for the CIRS examination - This section of the course identifies the various challenges of digital information era and explains the techniques and approach to accessing information of the Internet. It provides insight of search engine behavior and responses upon sending search query to its indexed pages - it highlights the techniques and methods of how to formulate and structure search queries in your browser.

Research Methods – [ Section (1) Module 2]

Research Methods & Methodologies – Unit 3

Research work in the new digital information era has created an opportunity, as well as a responsibility for many of us: to explore and learn new research skills to access this information. While connecting people, information, and technology in effective and innovative ways is a learned skill for information users today - a basic knowledge of Standard Research Methods and Methodology is what makes the solid foundation for your research.

Topics Covered in this Unit

The research method is the procedure or technique applied by the researcher to undertake research. On the other hand, research methodology is a system of methods, used scientifically for solving the research problem. The scope of research methodology is wider than that of research method, as the latter is the part of the former. For understanding the research problem thoroughly, the researcher should know the research methodology the research methods.

  • Research Profession, Purpose and Research Market
  • Research Types, Methods, and Philosophies
  • Research Methodologies
Research Planning – Unit 4
Internet Research Challenges & Online Data Collection Methods – Unit 5

Internet Research – [ Section (2) Module 2]

Information of the Internet – Unit 6

Even though the Information can come from virtually anywhere and in any form — from media, blogs, personal experiences, books, journal and magazine articles, expert opinions, encyclopedias, and web pages. The type of information you need will change depending on the research question you are trying to answer or solve. Nearly two-thirds of users across our seven developed nations according to polls, said they use a search engine to look for news or search facts online at least once a day. However, not all Internet resources will necessarily deliver the most suitable or reliable information for many of us. Therefore, an online researcher must critically analyze and assess the usefulness and reliability of what is available on the web as content. In this unit, we will discuss how and where to find reliable information on the Internet.

Topics Covered in this Unit

  • Information Sourcing Concise Plan Outline
    • Information Gathering Approach
    • Information Sourcing Approach
  •  Information Types and Source Classification
  • Understanding Difference between Search Engines Database and Library System Database
  • Information of the Internet – Deep Web, Dark Web and the Visible Web or Surface Web
  • Source of Free Information on the Internet – Explains Types of Free Information of the Web
  • Free Information and the Copyrights Issues of the Internet Content
  • Evaluation of Internet’s Free Information – Methods and Approach
  • Specialized Search Engines – Classification, Types and Advantages
  • Categorized Information Resources of the Internet.
    • Statistics and Opinions Websites
    • Market Research Agencies
    • Online Automated Data Collectors (Automated Bots Crawler Software)
    • Information and Data from Public Records and Archives
      Online Information Archives and Online Database (Paid Subscriptions)
    • Specialized Websites. Portals and Forums (E.g. Public Reviews, Consumer Reports, Social Media, Personal Blogs, News Articles, Freelance Writers and Citizen Journalism Etc.).
  • Types of Restricted Online Information not available for General Public
Reading Search Engine Result Pages [SERP]– Unit 7
Advance Internet Search Methods & Techniques – Unit 8
Browser Adjustments & Personalization – Unit 9


This module has two 2 separate sections [includes seven (7) units]

The Business of Research is an important module for those Research Professionals that are interested in setting up their independent research services practice as Independent Research Specialists. The main objective of this module is to provide a basic understanding of how to set-up an Independent Research Services Business and how to effectively manage small business operations? - The topics are intended to familiarize students with essential elements of business management that provide valuable insight into SMB (Small to Medium Size Business) operational issues, along with the business risks attached and both the advantages and disadvantages of working independently.

This module also includes topics that explains several steps required from the time client research proposal is drafted and later how it gets executed and ultimately delivered to the client. Other aspects of business operations such as Accounting, Billing, Project Pricing and Projects Costing are also included in this module.

Starting & Running Independent Online Research Business – Unit 10

The concepts explained in Unit-10 provide a sound footing for a Research Specialist to establish and run their Independent Research practice and offer their services to their clients.

Topics Covered

The topics discussed include various operational and management elements of a small size business; they include,

  • Business Registration and Corporate Structure Overview – In USA/Canada
  • Business Management Topics
    • First Meeting with the Client (Building Client Relationships)
    • Preparing Business Proposal or Research Proposals
    • Contract Negotiations (Legal Issues and Types of Contracts, Pricing of Projects)
    • Project Management (Costs and Budgets, Billing the Client, Cash-flow Management)
    • Business Human Resource Management & Third-Party Collaborations
  • Execution of Contracts and Delivery of Projects
List of Information Business Management Software’s and Tools – Unit 11


Module 4 has two (2) Units

An informed Internet Researcher in the matters of Cyber Laws and Internet Ethics benefits research work by minimizing legal risks and establishing professional approach in their work.

Internet Law – Unit 12

The Internet Law also referred to "Cyber Law" encompasses all transactions and activities on the internet. The collaborative nature of the internet and its vast expansion has led to numerous legal challenges making "Internet Law" a critical aspect concerning activities of the Internet. The objective of this module is to introduce Research Specialists of Cyber Laws that affect their ability to use online content, as well as safeguarding their own online published work.

Topics Covered

  • Law Governing Establishing Internet Jurisdictions
  • Intellectual Property Laws of the Internet - Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents
  • Internet Privacy Laws - Human Subjects, Business and Website Information Collections
  • Law for Defamation and Slander
  • Law for Spamming, Hacking and Cyber Vandalism
  • Laws Governing Cybercrimes
  • Laws on Internet Activity of e-Commerce Business
  • Laws of Executing Electronic Contracts, Consumer Protection
  • Laws Governing Cyber Crimes 
Internet Ethics – Unit 13

Inclusive Online Training Resources for Exam Preparation

Online resources provide a variety of tools you can use to supplement the Official CIRS Courseware. [The following resources are available to registered students that have purchased AIRS Training Material]:

Exam Guide

Exam Guide

A guide that is all about suggesting approach and tips for passing your exams. The topics in this guide are based on feedback and most common questions asked by other candidates. It identifies topics that most students find difficult to comprehend and suggest the best approach to overcome difficulty barrier.

Online Mock Exams

Online Mock Exams

Registered students can practice real mock exams that simulate the exact same final exam pattern and similar questions. Questions are rotated at random in each section of the exams as you will find in real exams with exam re-takes. 

Online Exam Preparation Support

Online Exam Preparation Support

Students are given an online chat support by appointment to orient them and guide them for study programs and to answer their concerns and questions about the CIRS examination. [This is not a tutoring support, but a live guide from our Course Development and Examination Board volunteer members]

Unlimited Access to Research Paper & Videos

Unlimited Access to Research Paper & Videos

Access to AIRS online available research papers and subject related video clips - These are a collection of links from external sources.  Students will find these useful as references that assist in clarifying and learning concepts and topics that are part of the CIRS exam curriculum.

Supplemental Notes

Supplemental Notes

These are the learning material that is included as information and notes that either compliment the main topics in the syllabus or assist with difficult and complex topics that require elaboration or further explanations for students.

Note: The hard copies of the Self-Study Guide are available for purchase by students in the Americas, Western Europe, Australia, and Oceania only. International students who order the electronic version of the course will receive the electronic (non-printable) online version of the Self-Study Guide and Workbook.

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