Here's the thing: reading a book or a print article with endnotes is a pain, because I basically have to use two bookmarks and constantly flip back and forth (depending on the number of notes), which makes me lose the thread and forces me to constantly reread paragraphs (it's also impossible to do when reading with one hand while trapped in a crowded subway car). Nowadays, more and more journals are going electronic, and reading endnotes in a .pdf file, or an html without hyperlinks, is pretty much the dictionary definition of "pain in the ass." So why do so many publishers insist on endnotes?
The only reason I can think of is that footnotes make a text less aesthetically pleasing, particularly with authors whose notes take up half of every page. Thus, one might think, it's better to have a pretty text and let those who are interested in further reading go to the endnotes. But this reasoning makes approximately zero sense when it comes to academic work, particularly journal articles. Sure, some people might enjoy skimming journal articles without paying attention to the notes; but it isn't possible to read an article seriously without consulting the notes, and it makes a lot more sense to tailor the layout of academic journals to serious readers than to skimmers.
So, thoughts or explanations, anyone? Ideas on how to get the journals to stop using unreadable formats?