JabRef renaming keys?!

I’m relatively new to JabRef. I am trying to use it to clean up my massive bibliography files. The problem I have is that when I import files from a data base, it is renaming the keys, removing colons. For example, “Chen:2003ava” becomes “Chen2003ava”. The problem is that I have several projects I’m working on with my students where I have insisted that they always use the bibtex key from Inspire so we can avoid erroneously including the same reference twice by accident and this name change completely destroys this system. This also means that I would have to go through and edit every key in files which I am actively editing. There must be some way to suppress this “feature” when importing keys??

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I think this can be disabled in the preferences: General > Disable “Enforce legal characters in the BibTex keys”

That didn’t appear to do it on its own, but it looks like
Preferences->Bibtex Key Generator->

  • Unchecking “Generate keys for imported entries”
  • Checking “Do not overwrite existing keys”