The library collects monographs, monographic series, reference books, and journals, with the main focus being the journal collection and databases. Symposium and colloquium proceedings are bought only on request, except for those that come via society subscription. The library does not generally collect patents, technical reports and theses or dissertations by authors other than Tulane students. Select engineering standards may be collected.
To broaden accessibility, online journals are prioritized. Print will be cancelled to reduce costs and free-up shelving space when ownership of the online version is assured and the image quality is adequate. Online access that requires additional costs with a print subscription will be sought selectively within the amount budgeted for biomedical engineering journals. E-books, either individually or in packages are considered, especially when that format would improve access or utility. Most scientific abstracting and indexing sources are available as databases searchable online. The library rarely maintains a subscription to both the print and the online version of an index.