FranticFish - 8:38 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)
I try to make sure that the link occurs at a point where a reader might want to check the source of my statement
Example: "Organisation / person << says this >>" (where the link is inside the << >>) rather than the way Wikipedia quote their sources - at the foot of the page where, as aakk9999 said, they are much less likely to be clicked.
I usually open such links in a new window
I too make all external links target=blank / window=new as standard.
what also can help ME
One of the solutions I've applied in the past (as suggested by Tedster) for 'wrong page ranking syndrome' was to remove on-page anchor text containing the phrase you DON'T want a page to rank for from it and adding it to the page you DO want it to rank for. In other words, I've seen anchor text help the page it's on as well as (or more than, when used internally) the page it points to. I realise that's not a very definite answer, but it indicates to me that judicious outbound linking can help.
Added: perhaps what might help (more than the precise text you use?) is the relevance of your article's key terms to the key term(s) that the page(s) you link to rank for. I've noticed that my quickest ranking articles are often those that link out to well-ranked pages themselves.
However, I don't recommend always citing the most popular source in every case, because sometimes I don't think they are the best or most suited to my article.