The PageRank formula is based on the idea that your ranking increases when other websites point to you, and the more popular websites pointing to you really increases your ranking value. Kinda reminds me of high school.
The Wiki picture is so cute that I'm including it here.
Here's a Good Point: Ranking is for pages, not for websites.☞The Google Toolbar PageRank score ranges from 0 to 10. 10 means the most popular pages.
☞Every web page starts (is initialized) at a ranking score of 0.25.
✥If the page has links that move to different spots on itself, the ranking stays the same.
✥If a single page has a link to another single page, the ranking stays the same.
☞The ranking score is based on a proportion to all the webpages in the world,
✥so everybody's score goes down whenever the spiders make a new crawl.
✥That's okay, because it affects everybody the same way.
☞The Juice is distributed from a page to the other pages that it links outward to.
✥The webpage that gets the incoming linkage gets juice from each of the outbound webpages.
✥So, if 3 virgin webpages linked outward to my virgin webpage,
✥I would receive 0.25 score points from the score value of each of the outbound pages,
✥for a total of 0.75 points.
✥If I include the points that my webpage had (0.25), I get a total score of 1 point.
✥This does not affect the ranking score of the pages that link to me.
☞If Athene's webpage points to Babs and Candys webpages,
✥then Athenes value of 0.25 points gets split between the 2 pages.
✥So Babs adds her 0.25 to Athenes 0.125, and so does Candy. They each have 0.375.
✥If Arnold points to Athene, Babs, & Candy, then Arnold's 0.25 gets split up 3 ways = 0.083.
✥So Athene, Babs, & Candy, each get 0.083 from Arnolds links.
✥Add that to what they already have, and Athene has 0.25 + 0.083 = 0.333,
✥but Babs, & Candy each have 0.375 + 0.083 = 0.458.
☞Pages with no outbound links are assumed to link out to all other pages in the website (collection).
✥So all the pages in the same website share the outbound points
✥from a page that does not link outward.
✥If my website has 10 pages, and one of my pages has no links outbound,
✥then my 9 other pages will get 0.25 / 9 = 0.0278.
What Does This All Mean?The Juice from PageRank that my boss was talking about is not leaking out from the outbound links to other websites.
So you shouldn't worry if you have legitimate links going to reference webpages that you have sited as sources for your information.
Also if you are linking outward to other websites that are related to your work, that is also kosher and should not affect your own ranking.
The links that point to you are the ones that help your standing in the browsers, but nothing beats getting lots of people to visit your site. So have all your friends give you multiple visits to raise your click ranking.