In recent years
- the number of authors working on a paper is growing to be quite large,
- the titles are getting more and more lengthier and intricate to distinguish between the state of the art while still trying to be self-explanatory.
- the list of references are growing. One cannot imagine to be interdisciplinary and be stingy on the number of citations.
This leads to a massive list of reference at the end of many paper, each sometimes taking 4 if not more lines in a standard Latex document. Also, the names of the authors can be quite long in many instances.
It just doesn't make sense to include references towards the maximum page limit of a conference or a journal. It not only discriminates those with long names (leading them being cutoff from the citation), it also constraints the entire research community to only make marginal/tangential contribution so to limit the size of the references.
What should be limited instead is self-citation. But even that can be disputed.
Is there any good reason why the reference page contributes to the total number of pages these days?