This is one question that probably has an archaic answer. I recently reviewed a paper for a journal that stuck all the figures at the end (with placeholders in-text). Where I publish, we typically provide camera-ready manuscripts or at least give reviewers a version with the figures embedded so that they can see what the heck is going on. Occasionally, you embed the figures plus they are attached separately at the end (due to how the system generates the PDF). However, I recognize that dumping the figures at the end of a journal submission for review is quite common in some fields.
My simple question: Why?
I assume that at some point, there was a purpose to putting figures at the end rather than where they belong. I am also aware that it is quite common for journals to shuffle around your figure positions. But why would journals possibly want their copy to have all the figures dumped at the end? Obviously it is not for the reviewers' benefit, as it makes certain papers nigh-unreadable ("As you can see in Figure 1" - opens up second copy of the PDF so I can see Fig 1 at the same time as the text). Anyone know the reasoning behind this?