Reprints of articles from scientific journals seem to have been an important part of scientific practice before the copying machine and the internet. Authors of articles were given a number of those reprints to share with their peers in times when going to a library and put it on a copying machine or simply downloading a pdf file were not an option.
I am interested in how reprints ("Sonderdrucke" as we call them in German) shaped scientific practice. Were they a social factor? (Probably) Who paid for them and why? What kind of impact had the relative scarcity of reprints in comparison to today?
I would be especially grateful for specific info on that topic around 1900 and for case studies from the history of biology (doesn't have to be from 1900).