Differential and integral W-values for ionization in gaseous water for electron and proton irradiation have been analyzed from the theoretical point of view for consistency between ionization and total inelastic collision cross sections. For low-energy electrons, which are ubiquitous for all primary radiations, the experimental or compiled cross sections from different sources are sometimes not consistent with one another. A practical, self-consistent procedure is outlined in such cases. The high-energy asymptotic W-values for differential and integral ionization are calculated to be 33.7 and 34.7 eV, respectively, for electron irradiation and 34.6 and 32.5 eV, respectively, for proton irradiation. The computed variations of the W-values with energy are generally in good agreement with experiment. Integral primary W-values due only to the interactions between the incident particle and the water vapor are calculated to be 43.5 and 45.0 eV for electrons and protons, respectively, in the high-energy asymptotic limit.

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