Automatic Nodetitles and Node Reference Create

There is an inherent conflict between Automatic Nodetitles and Node Reference Create. The way Node Reference Create is supposed to work, the information you put into the node reference field becomes the title of the new node that’s created, if it doesn’t match a node that already exists. No other data is added to that new node-- crucially, this includes the data that Automatic Nodetitles will try to use to automatically create a title. Automatic Nodetitles will override the title that Node Reference Create tries to provide to the new node, and the result will be a new node whose title is the literal value of the tokens you’ve set up to automatically provide the title, such as “[field_given_name] [field_surname]”.

One way to work around this is to use the Automatic Nodetitles configuration “Automatically generate the title if the title field is left empty” (rather than having Automatic Nodetitles hide the title field), and add some text to the content type’s Submission Guidelines (which appear at the top of the node creation screen, and can be configured under “Submission form” settings, on the same page where you configure Automatic Nodetitles for the content type) instructing users to leave the title field empty.