# How to estimate true value and 95% bands when distribution is asymmetrical?

I have a set of results of independent measurements of some physical quantity. As an example I give here real expermental data on methanol refractive index at 25 degrees Celsius published in scientific literature from 1960 to 2011:

data={{1960, 1.32652}, {1961, 1.32662}, {1963, 1.32650}, {1963,
1.32750}, {1968, 1.32698}, {1968, 1.32890}, {1970, 1.32657}, {1970,
1.32660}, {1971, 1.3260}, {1971, 1.32610}, {1971, 1.32630}, {1971,
1.3350}, {1972, 1.32640}, {1972, 1.32661}, {1973, 1.32860}, {1975,
1.32515}, {1975, 1.32641}, {1976, 1.32663}, {1977, 1.32670}, {1980,
1.3250}, {1983, 1.32850}, {1985, 1.32653}, {1991, 1.32710}, {1995,
1.32621}, {1995, 1.32676}, {1996, 1.32601}, {1996, 1.32645}, {1996,
1.32715}, {1998, 1.32820}, {1999, 1.32730}, {1999, 1.32780}, {2001,
1.32634}, {2006, 1.32620}, {2011, 1.32667}};


The first number is the year of first publication, the second is the published value. The authors do not always provide their own estimate for error of the published value and even when they do this, the published estimate is often not accurate.

It is easy to see that the distribution is asymmetrical (other datasets I work with are even more asymmetrical). Here is a density histogram with bins selected by hands:

bins = {1.325, 1.3259, 1.3261, 1.3263, 1.3265, 1.3266, 1.3267, 1.3269,
1.3275, 1.328};
Histogram[dataFirst[[All, 2]], {bins}, "PDF"] Because of asymmetric feature of the distribution I cannot use the mean as an estimate for the true value of methanol refractive index.

The fact is that the probability to get smaller value than the true value in general is not equal to the probability to get higher value (the reasons for this are subtle and I will not explain them here). This means that the median is also unsuitable.

It may be assumed that each invidual measurement has normal distribution.

What is the best way to estimate the true value and its 95% confidence bands for the measured quantity in such cases?

P.S. References for relevant scientific papers will be appreciated.

P.S.2. The above code is for Mathematica system.