With the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) in 2001 as an inter-governmental coordinating body, concerted efforts have been made during the past decade to establish a global research infrastructure to facilitate the publishing, discovery, and access to primary biodiversity data. The participants in GBIF have enabled the access to over 377 million records of such data as of August 2012. This is a remarkable achievement involving efforts at national, regional and global levels in multiple areas such as data digitization, standardization and exchange protocols. However concerns about the quality and `fitness for use¿ of the data mobilized in particular for the scientific communities have grown over the years and must now be carefully considered in future developments. This paper is the first comprehensive assessment of the content mobilised so far through GBIF, as well as a reflexion on possible strategies to improve its `fitness for use¿. The methodology builds on complementary approaches adopted by the GBIF Secretariat and the University of Navarra for the development of comprehensive content assessment methodologies. The outcome of this collaborative research demonstrates the immense value of the GBIF mobilized data and its potential for the scientific communities. Recommendations are provided to the GBIF community to improve the quality of the data published as well as priorities for future data mobilization.