I am about ready to sumbit a paper in mathematics, but I have one worry. While researching, I came across a sentence in the introduction of an old paper that I really want to use (with a very minor modification) in my abstract. It has been in all of my drafts for a long while now, and I can't see getting rid of it!!!
Is this a serious issue? Even though I'm stealing the sentence, I am not actually stealing any mathematics, so it kind of seems (??) okay to me. The old paper is cited elsewhere in my paper, by the way. I just don't know how I can give credit for a phrase when it appears in the abstract... it would seem overkill to put the whole citation in the abstract.
In times like these I wish I hadn't ditched all my English major friends.
EDIT: THANKS for all of the replies. You convinced me to change to wording, and I believe I ended up with something almost as good. I am a nervous wreck as it is, so I definitely don't need this plagiarism thing weighing on my conscience!!