In a recent Google Webmaster Help video Matt Cutts has answered this particular question. In the scenario that Matt presents everything within the article is White Hat and so is the article that is being linked to. The question asked was if it was best to include a link to the article at the top or bottom of the article.
From a search engine optimisation perspective Matt says that it does not matter where the link is placed as long as the link is there, page rank flow will flow either way. Matt then goes on to describe his own personal preferences on how to include links to other pages in your articles.
Like Matt, I think that it is best to include the link at the place in your post where you mention the other article. I know from my own experience as a web user that if I am reading a piece and it talks about something else on the web then I like to be able to see the source that is being discussed so that I can draw my own conclusions. I do not do this to try to decide whether I agree with the author or not it is simply that it helps to provide context to the article that I am reading, helping me to gain a greater understanding of the piece.
Knowledge is often like the layers of sediment that build up over time. As you learn something you can then expand on that knowledge, laying further layers down in your mind and gaining a greater understanding of the subject.
I think that often the desire to place all the links as a list at the bottom of a page stems from book publishing where sources cannot be linked to directly and tend to be mentioned at the bottom of the page, end of a chapter or even as an appendix at the end of the book. The World Wide Web allows us to provide greater clarity in our articles through the ability to mention other sources and include that all important link. In this case I am not talking about the link being important from a search engine perspective but because it enriches the article that we are writing or reading.
Links can be seen as the glue that holds the web together. Some are more sticky than others and gain more attention. They also help to increase your authority within the online community. It is one thing to quote a statistic and then perform analysis on it, but your analysis has more credibility if the reader can see the source of your analysis rather than wondering if you just made the stat up.
Quality content can make or break the success of a website and it is important to make sure that your web design allows the presentation of quality content in an appropriate fashion. So if you are looking to keep people on your site it might be in your best interests to include links to other sites within the context of your own writings. Sure a user may follow the link, but they will probably come back again to see what else you have to say. Building your online reputation is one of the best ways to make your website more “sticky”.